CLEVELAND, OH- The Akron Men’s basketball team won a very close game to the Ball State Cardinals to make it to the MAC Championship Game 74-70. Akron started off fast and made seven quick points causing Ball State to call a timeout, and there was about 18:45 left to go in the first half. However, in the final minutes of the game the Zips were able to survive the Cardinals last run to end the game.
The Zips were led by senior center Isaiah Johnson and junior guard Antino Jackson who both scored 19 points. Isaiah Johnson also added six rebounds, and five assists. The Zips shot 15 for 27 (55.6%) from the court and were 5 for 11 (45.5%) from the 3 point line. Also, Akron senior forward Kwan Cheatham finished with 11 points and made three much needed 3 pointers for the Zips. As a team, Akron shared the ball well and had a total of 13 assists. The Zips were very proficient from the 3 point line shooting an impressive 10 of 15 attempts.
During the second half with around 18 minutes left, Antino Jackson had a big steal to stretch the Zips lead to 8 (43-35). Then, with only about 9 minutes to go in regulation, Kwan Cheatham converted a deep 3 pointer to put the Zips up by 5. With only 5 minutes remaining in the game, Akron was able to come up with another steal and Jimond Ivey made a slam dunk on the other end of the court. The Akron Zips had a total of eight steals which were huge in the outcome of the game. Right after that occurred, Ball State forward Tahjai Teague was able to convert a 3 point play. Antino Jackson came alive in the final minutes of the game making a 3 pointer, a 3 point play and a steal, and Akron was on a run leading 66 to 57 with only 3:00 left to go in the game. Next, Isaiah Johnson made a layup with 54.4 seconds left to go in the game and the Zips were up 70-64. The Cardinals had three chances to make 3 pointers in the final seconds of the game to cut Akron’s lead to 2 but missed all of them. Akron was able to knock down free throws to win the game.
Saturday night the Akron Zips will take on the winner of the Ohio Bobcats Kent State Golden Flashes game for the MAC title at 7:30 pm at Quicken Loans Arena.
Akron Head Coach Keith Dambrot, Antino Jackson, and Isaiah Johnson comment on there win over Ball State, and their expectations going into the MAC Championship game.
The Akron Men’s basketball team defeated the Eastern Michigan Eagles 79-62 in the first game of the MAC Tournament Quarterfinals and will move onto the semifinals. Akron was able to play better in the second half to move into the next round.
In the first half the game started off slow and neither team could score a basket. Eastern Michigan forward James Thompson IV was able to make the first basket and continued to make back to back baskets for the Eagles. He finished with 18 points, 16 rebounds, and two steals. Akron center Isaiah Johnson played very well and led the Zips with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists. Akron junior guard Noah Robotham scored 19 and was 3 for 4 from 3 point range. Also, sophomore guard Josh Williams added 11 points, and knocked down 3 key pointers. Akron ranks 8th in the NCAA RPI (Rating Percentage Index) in total three point field goals made, but made only 9 three pointers of 28 attempts. The Zips were trailing the entire first half until Noah Robotham made a three pointer to take the lead over Eastern with 4:50. However, Eastern cut the lead to 3 and were down 30-27 at halftime.
In the second half the Eagles went on a run and cut Akron’s lead to 4 (55-51). Akron however was not intimidated and ended up the game strong. The Zips played better defense and made the Eagles turn the ball over a total of 13 times. Akron also moved the ball well and had a total of 11 assists on 25 made baskets. With 4:17 left in the game Akron was able to get two steals to put the game away. One was by Jimond Ivey who converted a layup, and the other one occurred directly afterwards by Josh Williams who knocked a much needed 3 pointer to put the Zips up by 11 (64-53). Akron was able to score 49 points in the second half to close out Eastern and move on.
Akron will play the winner of the Ball State Cardinals and Western Michigan Broncos Quarterfinals game in the semifinals game which will occur tomorrow evening at 5:30 pm at Quicken Loans Arena.
Below is the press conference with Akron Head Coach Keith Dambrot, Josh Williams, and Isaiah Johnson who all commented on the win against the Eastern Michigan. Also Dambrot talks about what it takes to win the tournament.
CLEVELAND, OH- The Kent State Golden Flashes women’s basketball team took on the Toledo Rockets women’s basketball team in the last game of the 2017 MAC Quarterfinals. Toledo was able to hold off Kent State 67-63 to win the game.
In the first half the game was back and forth. The Toledo Rockets shot decent from the court going 9 of 16 and ended the first quarter up by six over Kent State (22-16). Toledo lead Kent State at halftime 39-35, and had a big contribution from their bench who scored 15 points.The Rockets were led by junior guard Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott who had 9 points and was perfect from the court going 3 for 3. Kent State was led by senior guard Larissa Lurken who was 5 for 11 from the court and had 16 points, three rebounds and two assists.
At the end of the third quarter, Kent State led Toledo 56-50. In the final quarter Kent State and Toledo were dead locked even at 61 with 3:29 left. Toledo’s Janice Monakana hit a clutch 3 pointer with 1:40 left in the game to give the Rockets a five point lead (66-61). Kent State’s Megan Carter had a chance to tie the ball game but missed a 3 pointer, and Toledo was able to seal the deal to move on to the next round.
The Toledo Rockets will take on the Buffalo Bulls in the Semifinal game of the MAC tournament on Friday at 1:30 pm at Quicken Loans Arena.
Below is the press conference with head coach of Toledo Tricia Cullop, Sophie Reecher , and Janice Monakana and their comments after their win over Kent State.
CLEVELAND, OH- The Central Michigan Chippewas women’s basketball team and the Western Michigan Broncos women’s basketball team squared off in the first game of the 2017 Mid American Conference Tournament Quarterfinals at noon at Quicken Loans Arena. The 8th seeded Broncos were able to beat the number 1 ranked Chippewas 67-63.
In the first quarter, the Chippewas led the Broncos 20 to 13. Sophomore guard Presley Hudson led the Chippewas with five points and was 2 for 3 from the court. The Chippewas led the Broncos by nine 33-24 at halftime. Central Michigan shot 14 of 30 from the court, and had seven assists as a team. Also, the Chippewas outrebounded the Broncos 25 to 19.
In the second half the game was pretty close, Western Michigan cut Central Michigan’s lead to four with 5:10 left in the 3rd quarter. (40-36). In the final quarter, Western Michigan fought there way all the back to only trail Central Michigan by one 63-62 with 21.8 seconds left in the game. Western was able to create a turnover, and Najee Smith made a clutch three pointer to take the lead over Central 65-63 with 12 seconds left in the game. Deja Wimby led her team with 17 points, seven assists, and three steals. The Broncos made the Chippewas commit 14 turnovers to seal the victory.
The Western Michigan Broncos will take on the winner of the Ohio Bobcats and Northern Illinois Huskies Quarterfinals game. The Semifinals game between the Broncos and the winner of that game will be on Friday at 11 am at the Q.
Below is the press conference with head coach of the Western Michigan Broncos Shane Clipfell and guards Deja Wimby and Najee Smith and their comments after the win.
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The Akron Men’s Basketball team beat the Kent State Golden Flashes Friday night to end the regular season with a record of 24 and 7. Also finishing with an impressive record in the MAC of 14 and 4. Akron played well throughout the game and was able to defeat Kent State mostly in the second half.
The Zips were led by Jimond Ivey who scored 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 1 assist. Also, Noah Robotham finished with 12 points, and both Daniel Utomi and Isaiah Johnson added 10. In the first half, Akron shot only 12 of 29(41.4%) from the court, but started to play much better in the second half. Both teams went on their respected runs. With 17 minutes left in the contest Kent State went on a run, taking the lead over Akron 37-36. Then, later on in the game with 4:40 left Akron controlled the rest of the game. The team was able to convert on 16 2nd chance points to help get the win against the Flashes.
Akron will play the winner of the First Round Championship Series game between the Eastern Michigan Eagles and the Northern Illinois Huskies on March 9th at noon at Quicken Loans Arena.
Below is the press conference with head coach Keith Dambrot, and his comments after the game.
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