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MAC Notebook

January 6, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Mid-American Conference Notebook

by Adam Trumble

Bobcats Heating Up

The Ohio Bobcats have struggled so far this season but the East Division favorite is starting to warm up after defeating St. Bonaventure 104-101 and coming back from a 19-point deficit before falling to No. 20
Kentucky 83-75 in Cincinnati.

Keith Bogans scored 21 points and Erik Daniels made big baskets near the end of the game as No. 20
Kentucky wasted most of its big lead away before beating Ohio. Daniels helped Kentucky (9-3) hold off a late charge by Ohio (3-6), which cut the deficit to 78-75 on junior forward Brandon Hunter’s inside basket with 55 seconds left. Senior guard Sonny Johnson led Ohio with 24 points, while Hunter and senior guard Steve Esterkamp – two Cincinnati prep players — each had 18 points in their homecomings.

Against St. Bonaventure, Esterkamp hit several key three-pointers en route to 24 points. The Bobcats had trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half before rallying from 10 points behind in the second half. The Bonnies suffered their first defeat to a Mid-American Conference team this season. Hunter posted his sixth double-double in eight games with 18 points and a career-high 24 rebounds.

Toledo ends MSU home streak

Senior guard Nick Moore scored 19 points as Toledo blew a 13-point second-half lead but held on to upset No. 14 Michigan State 81-76. UT shot 54 percent from the floor and made 11-of-22 three point
attempts. It was the first loss at the Breslin Center to a non-conference opponent this century.

Keith Triplett added 17 points for the Rockets, who improved to 7-4 on the year. Chris Hill scored 19 points for the Spartans (8-3), who led just once in the second half. Kelvin Torbert and Anagonye added 16 points each.

Toledo led 65-52 with 10:13 remaining before Michigan State (8-3) rallied to tie the game at 71 on a
3-pointer by Chris Hill with 2:00 to go. Toledo’s Nick Moore and MSU’s Torbert both drained
3-pointers, tying it at 74 with 1:10 left. Triplett made one of two free throws with 51 seconds left to
give the Rockets the lead for good.

Coles has former school’s number

Miami Head Coach Charlie Coles extended his winning streak over Central Michigan to seven games after a 71-62 conference season opening victory at Millett Hall in Oxford. Coles, who coached the Chippewas from 1986-1991, has owned CMU Head Coach Jay Smith, who has never beaten Coles. Senior guard Juby Johnson scored 19 points and Tim Schenke had 18, while Miami scored the final 14 points to come from behind and win. Junior center Chris Kaman had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Chippewas.

CMU committed 20 turnovers in suffering its third defeat of the season, all coming on the road. Earlier in the week the RedHawks, who play the third toughest non-conference schedule in the country, dropped
a disappointing home court decision to Evansville, 66-58.

Miami got of to a quick start nailing all five of its three-point attempts over the first five minutes of
the game, but a 10-minute scoring slump to end the first half and start the second half was too much to
overcome. Miami led the entire first half, but that lead had been cut to only one point by halftime after
Evansville closed on a 7-0 run. Johnson led Miami’s scoring with a game-high 17 points.

Earlier in the week before the Chippewas defeat at Miami, they warmed up for the MAC season easily defeating Spring Arbor 113-63. Senior forward Mike Manciel scored 24 points to reach the 1,000 point plateau. He is the 23rd CMU player to reach the mark. During the Miami game, Manciel also grabbed his 400th career rebound to become only the eighth player in school history with 1,000 points and 400 rebounds.

Without Kaman, their seven-foot center, the Chippewas used a total of 15 players, with 14 of those scoring for the Chippewas. Kaman was resting after a foot injury suffered at Valparaiso. The 113 points tied for the eighth most in Chippewa history, and marked the first time the Chippewas have reached the 100-point mark in a non-overtime game since a 115-109 home loss to Toledo in 1992-93.

The Chippewas made little doubt about this one from the onset, roaring out to a 22-2 lead at the 12:53 of
the first half. The Chippewas relied on a long range attack, shooting 50 percent (15-of-30) from three-point range, narrowly missing the school record for threes in a game (16).

Hoopville’s Mid-American Conference Player of the Week

Ohio senior forward Brandon Hunter. Hunter scored 18 points and grabbed 24 rebounds in a 104-101 win
against St. Bonaventure and scored 18 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in 83-75 loss to No. 20 Kentucky.


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