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Mid-American Notebook

December 9, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Mid-American Conference Notebook

by Jeremy Speer

It has been a season of adversity for Central Michigan. The Chippewas had gone to the Maui Invitational with hopes of making a splash, but ended the tourney with an 0-3 mark. Prior to the second game, they learned walk-on teammate Brent Edwards had passed away in an automobile accident.

The squad regained a large chunk of positive energy Saturday, knocking off No. 23 Notre Dame, 69-68, in South Bend. Coach Jay Smith said it was one of the program’s biggest wins, saying it rivaled last season’s defeat of No. 15 Creighton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Sophomore point guard Joe Carr hit the game-winning three-pointer as time expired. The backup, who was filling in for the fouled-out T. J. Meerman, took the ball upcourt with 3.8 seconds left, pump-faked All-American candidate Chris Thomas, and got off the shot.

Sophomore Kevin Nelson had 17 points to lead the way while sophomore Brandon Voorhees tallied 13 points. Central led for much of the game.

Upsets begin conference play

A pair of preseason MAC favorites were blown out in their conference openers. Bowling Green was shocked by perennial doormat Buffalo, 82-64. The Bulls’ Turner Battle led five double-digit scorers with 17 points. The Falcons have limped to an early season 2-3 record.

Miami, favorites to win the East Division, fell 61-38 to a strong Western Michigan squad. RedHawks leading scorer Juby Johnson was limited to just five points by the stifling Broncos’ defense.

Toledo, Kent State remain unbeaten

The Rockets and Golden Flashes continue to impress in the early season, both maintaining perfect records. Kent State upped its mark to 3-0 with an 83-74 defeat of Eastern Michigan while the Rockets slipped past Arkansas State 64-63 to remain 4-0.

Player of the Week:

Akron G Derrick Tarver

Tarver, the MAC’s leading returning scorer, notched a career-high 44 points in a 96-82 victory at Hampton. His previous high came last season against Central Michigan. He followed it up with a team-high 18 points in a Saturday victory against James Madison. The Zips are 3-1 on the season.

East Division Capsules

Akron Zips (3-1)

Last Week: at Hampton W 96-82; James Madison W 78-70
This Week: at North Carolina

Tarver’s performance lifted the Zips to their second consecutive road victory. He was helped by Andy Hipsher, who notched 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Hipsher scored his 1,000th point in the James Madison victory. In that game Preseason All-MAC point guard Johnny Hollingsworth returned. Hollingsworth had not played the previous two games because of personal reasons.

Buffalo Bulls (2-3, 1-0 MAC)

Last Week: Bowling Green W 82-64; Youngstown State W 86-66
This Week: at Colgate; at Niagara

After starting the season with three consecutive losses, the Bulls had a great week, starting with the Bowling Green upset. Against the Falcons, Battle, Daniel Gilbert, Jason Bird, Mario Jordan and Roderick Middleton all hit double figures. Starter B.J. Walker missed the game with an injured back. In the Youngstown State win, Jordan scored a career-high 16 points while Mark Bortz added 15 points.

Kent State Golden Flashes (3-0)

Last Week: at Eastern Michigan W 83-74
This Week: Rhode Island

Five Flashes reached double-figures in the EMU victory, including sophomore DeAndre Haynes 18 points. Bryan Bedford, John Edwards, Eric Haut and Jason Edwin also scored more than 10 points each.

Kent State held on, despite the Eagles’ 73 percent field-goal shooting in the second half.

Marshall Thundering Herd (2-3)

Last Week: at Kentucky L 89-76; at Radford W 79-77; at Oregon L 90-61
This Week: Northern Illinois

It was an exhausting week for the Herd, with four games in eight days, including a trip to the West Coast. The fatigue showed in the Oregon loss at the Pape Jam at the Rose Center. Marshall committed 27 turnovers against the Ducks. A.W. Hamilton had a career-high 17 points, followed by Marvin Black’s 10.

In a narrow victory against Radford, Mark Patton notched a career high 19 points. The Herd posted a comeback after being down 10 points in the second half. Black and Ronny Dawn each scored 20.
Against Kentucky, Dawn led the way with 23 points.

Miami RedHawks (2-2)

Last Week: at Dayton L 67-61; at Western Michigan L 61-38
This Week: Xavier; Wright State

The results were not as desired for the RedHawks, who are expecting one of their best seasons in school history.

Against the unbeaten Flyers, Johnson scored his 1,000th point on the way to an 28 point, eight rebound performance. Josh Hausfeld added 14 points.

The RedHawks shot just 34 percent against Western and were led by Hausfeld’s 10 points.

Ohio Bobcats (2-4)

Last Week: Boston U. L 67-64; Brown W 71-62
This Week: DePaul; at San Francisco

The Bobcats nearly knocked off Boston in double-overtime, despite shooting 35 percent.

Delvar Barrett led four double-figure scorers with 14 points, followed by Sonny Troutman, Diamond Gladney and Jeff Halbert.

In the Brown victory, Halbert stepped up with 14 points. The Bobcats outscored Brown 43-16 on the bench.

West Division Capsules

Ball State Cardinals (2-1)

Last Week: Butler W 63-61; at Wright State L 64-50
This Week: Anderson; at Indiana State

The Cardinals knocked off their second straight 2003 NCAA Tournament team, with a home win against Butler. They engineered an 11-3 second half run to seize victory.

Dennis Trammell led the team with 22 points while Terrance Chapman added 12.

Despite holding a 15-point first half lead against the Raiders, Ball State lost its first game of the season. They shot 13 percent in the second half, making just four field goals. Robert Owens led the way with 12 points.

Bowling Green Falcons (2-3, 0-1)

Last Week: at Buffalo L 82-64; at Northwestern L 77-60
This Week: at IPFW; at Michigan

The Falcons look to get on track with two road contests this week.

It was a rough week, with two tough losses. Austin Montgomery was the lone bright spot against Buffalo with 20 points. The team committed 22 turnovers in the game.

Kevin Netter hit all eight of his shots for 16 points against the Wildcats. The squad shot just 27 percent from behind the arc.

Central Michigan Chippewas (2-4)

Last Week: Bradley L 71-65; at Notre Dame W 69-68
This Week: at Purdue

CMU started the week with a tough loss to the Braves. The Chippewas were down for much of the game, but made a run to tie it, 61-61. Bradley survived the charge to win the game.

Gerrit Brigitha led the team with 15 points, while David Hoskins, Meerman and Nelson all reached double-figures.

The team faces its second straight ranked opponent in the Boilermakers at Conseco Fieldhouse Saturday.

Eastern Michigan Eagles (2-4, 0-1)

Last Week: Kent State L 83-74; at Illinois State L 80-69
This Week: Albion

James Jackson had a good week for Eastern, averaging 17.5 points.

Danny McElhinny drilled four three-pointers against the Redbirds.

Defense has been a concern, as Redbird scorers Trey Guidry and Marcus Arnold combined for 49 points in Saturday’s win.

Northern Illinois Huskies (3-2)

Last Week: Illinois-Chicago W 55-54; at Iowa L 65-57
This Week: at Marshall

The Huskies played well at the Gazette Hawkeye Challenge, avenging a 2002 loss against a tough Illinois-Chicago squad.

The Flames defeated NIU 77-45 last season and are predicted among the nation’s best Mid Majors this year. A James Hughes dunk off an Anthony Maestranzi pass with 54 seconds left gave the Huskies the lead.

Tournament MVP Marcus Smallwood had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

Smallwood had another good game in the championship, with 19 points and nine rebounds. The Huskies held a 13-point first half lead, but Iowa charged back.

Western Michigan Broncos (2-1, 1-0)

Last Week: Miami W 61-38
Next Week: Fordham

The Broncos continued their impressive early season with a convincing home victory.

The team’s big three of Ben Reed, Mike Williams and Anthony Kann came up strong. Reed scored 22 points on six-of-seven three point shooting. Williams added 13 points and seven rebounds while Kann had 15 points.


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