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Mid-American Conference Notebook

January 20, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Mid-American Conference Notebook

by Adam Trumble

Bowling Green maintained its half-game lead in the West Division over Central Michigan by defeating Akron 74-60 Saturday, while Kent State took control of the East Division with a 71-58 decision over Marshall.

Falcons falter on road

Bowling Green could have a full one game lead over the
Chippewas but fell on the road to Eastern Michigan
Wednesday. Any loss to a team like Eastern Michigan
doesn’t help the RPI ranking.

Sophomore JaQuan Hart, a transfer from Ohio State,
sparked the Eagles in the first half with seven
points, three rebounds and three assists in just 12
minutes.

Hart, a Top 50 recruit nationally out of Flint Northern
High School, was declared academically ineligible
before transferring to Eastern. Hart also was declared
ineligible at Michigan, his first choice out of high
school, but earned his eligibility at EMU for the start of the second
semester.

The Falcons (9-5, 5-1) bounced back at home against Akron. John Reimold paced Bowling Green with 21 points and Cory Ryan added 17, with 15 coming on 5-of-9 three-point shooting. The Zips (7-6, 2-2) never got closer than six points after that as Bowling Green hit 12-of-14 free throws
over the final two minutes and three seconds.

CMU stays hot, scores key road win

Shortly after Eastern Michigan handed Bowling Green its first loss of the conference season, Central Michigan knocked off the MAC’s last undefeated team by beating Marshall on the road.

Marshall junior guard Ronald Blackshear traveled with
10.8 seconds to go and a lane violation late in the game cost the
Thundering Herd a chance at the victory, as Central Michigan came
away victorious on the road.

Blackshear scored 27 to lead all scorers but it wasn’t
enough. Seven-foot center Chris Kaman led the Chippewas with 23 points and nine rebounds.

With the game tied at 78-78, CMU sophomore Tony Bowne stepped to the foul line and made two free throws with 25 seconds remaining to make it 80-78. J.R. Wallace then made one-of-two free throws, though it was actually one-of-three with the lane violation, which gave him an extra chance to convert the key free throw. Blackshear then attempted a three-pointer that spun out as time expired.

CMU then easily defeated the Bulls, 97-73, behind a career-high 31 points by Kaman, who also grabbed 13 rebounds. The game was plagued by fouls and was close until the second half. The Chippewas held a 42-35 lead at
halftime but then exploded for 55 points in the second
half.

Kent State back in familiar position

The Thundering Herd then dropped another game, this
one a battle for the East
Division lead, to Kent State, 71-58. Seven-foot junior Jon Edwards got four of his 12 points on a jumper and dunk in a 9-0 run that gave the
Golden Flashes (11-2, 4-1) a 55-46 lead.

Senior forward Antonio Gates led Kent State with 19
points and junior Eric Haut had 15 points. Blackshear
topped the Thundering Herd (8-5, 4-2) with 22 points. The Golden Flashes, who have won the East Division the previous two seasons, escaped Buffalo Wednesday with a one-point win (69-68).

Down by two with 2.3 seconds left to play, Kent State went the length of the floor and junior forward Bryan Bedford’s three-pointer gave Kent State the victory.

Junior guard Matt Jakeway threw a three-quarter court pass that was tipped by Gates. The ball continued rolling down the floor until it was picked up by Bedford who knocked the three down as time expired.

Gates led all players with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Haut had a career-high 23 points, hitting a career-best six three-pointers.

O’Shea drills team

The Ohio Bobcats return three seniors and had high hopes to run through the Mid-American Conference East Division, but things haven’t gone the way the Bobcats had hoped.

After falling at home to Northern Illinois 68-61 Wednesday, Ohio Head Coach Tim O’Shea lashed out at his team and at himself.

O’Shea questioned his players’ effort after that game and questioned his own status as coach at Ohio. With senior leadership from Brandon Hunter, Steve Esterkamp and Sonny Johnson, the Bobcats just can’t seem to get
things going.

“Sonny, Brandon and Steve had some high expectations going into this season, ” O’Shea said in the post-game press conference. “Obviously, it’s not working out like they thought it would. If there’s any heat to be directed, it should be directed at the coach.”

Hunter led all scorers with 26 points and 16 rebounds against Miami. Miami senior Chet Mason had 22 points and six steals, while senior Juby Johnson added 19 points as the RedHawks ended an eight-game road losing streak.

Hoopville’s Mid-American Conference Players of the Week

West Division: Central Michigan’s junior center Chris
Kaman. Kaman led the Chippewas to two victories scoring 23 and 31 points, respectively, against Marshall and Buffalo. He also grabbed a total of 22 rebounds in the two games.

East Division: Kent State’s senior forward Antonio Gates. Gates scored 24 and 18 points in wins at Buffalo and against Marshall. He also grabbed 22 rebounds in both games.

     

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