MAC Men's Basketball: Akron pushes nation's longest winning streak to 17

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Akron 67, Bowling Green 50

Four players scored in double figures as the Akron men's basketball team extended the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games after a 67-50 win over Bowling Green on Saturday night at James A. Rhodes Arena.

Akron, 21-4 overall and 12-0 in Mid-American Conference play, tied the 1957-58 Miami (Ohio) RedHawks for the best start to league play in conference history. The Zips also extended their home and overall conference winning streaks to 13 games. Additionally, the victory earned UA at least the No. 2 seed in next month's MAC Tournament.

Akron remains one of seven undefeated teams nationally in league play this season.

Zeke Marshall led the Zips with 15 points on the night in addition to nine boards, three blocked shots, one assist and one steal. Alex Abreu (13), Nick Harney (13) and Brian Walsh (10) also scored in double figures.

Richaun Holmes led Bowling Green (10-15, 5-7 MAC) with 15 points.

Akron won despite shooting 36.5 percent (23-of-63) from the field and helped itself by making 82.6 percent of its attempts (19-of-23) at the foul line and outrebounding the Falcons, 43-35. UA converted BGSU's 15 turnovers into 16 points, and 21 of the Zips' points came on second-chance opportunities.

Bowling Green shot just 32.8 percent (19-of-58) from the floor and did not connect on a field goal in the last 51⁄2 minutes of the game when the Zips used a 12-1 run to close out the win.

Buffalo 79, Miami (Ohio) 71

OXFORD -- Tony Watson scored a career-high 31 points and Javon McCrea had 20 points to lead Buffalo past Miami (Ohio) 79-71 on Saturday.

Watson, who had six assists, went 10-for-14 from the field and has hit 26 3-pointers over the last seven games. McCrea had six rebounds and made 9-of-14 shots, while freshman Jarryn Skeete had a career-high six assists.

Buffalo (11-15, 6-6 Mid-American Conference) trailed 35-31 with 2:58 left in the first half, but used a 9-0 run before halftime to pull ahead 39-35. Miami (8-16, 3-9) cut the deficit to 48-47 with 13:40 left in the second half, but didn't pull closer after Watson made back-to-back treys.

Buffalo dished out double-digit assists (18) for the seventh straight game. The Bulls shot 49 percent (26-of-53) from the floor, while Miami shot 50 percent (23-of-46).

Drew McGee had 13 for Miami, losers of four straight.

Eastern Michigan 56, Ball State 50

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Glenn Bryant scored 20 points, J.R. Sims added 18 and Eastern Michigan beat Ball State 56-50 on Saturday afternoon.

Sims made four 3-pointers for the Eagles (12-13, 5-6 Mid-American), who shot 63 percent from the floor in the second half.

Jauwan Scaife led the Cardinals (10-14, 4-8) with 21 points but was just 6-of-18 from the floor, including 2-of-13 from 3-point range. Conference rebounding leader Majok Majok grabbed 16 rebounds and scored six points.

Eastern Michigan won despite getting outrebounded 33-23 and committing 15 turnovers. Ball State's shooting woes helped: The Cardinals shot just 34 percent and made just six of their 20 shots after halftime. They were 5-of-27 from 3-point range for the game.

With the win, Eastern Michigan avenged Jan. 9's 60-58 home loss to Ball State. The Cardinals still lead the all-time series, 54-39.

Western Michigan 66, Northern Illinois 58

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Shayne Whittington scored 15 points and Western Michigan scored the last 16 points of the game to shock Northern Illinois 66-58 on Saturday.

Whittington grabbed nine rebounds, just missing a conference-leading ninth double-double of the season, for the Broncos (16-9, 8-4 Mid-American). Freshman Connar Tava added 12 points and Austin Richie had 11.

Aksel Bolin scored 10 points for the Huskies (5-19, 3-9), who lost their fifth in a row.

Northern Illinois led for most of the game and went ahead 58-50 on Kevin Gray's layup with 4:01 to play. But that was the last time the Huskies would score. David Brown scored seven points in the game-ending 16-0 run, and Richie's 3-pointer with 1:29 left put WMU ahead 60-58. Ritchie and Whittington added two free throws apiece in the final minute.

WMU now leads the all-time series 52-29 and has won the past eight meetings between the schools.

Other MAC scores

Toledo 73, Central Michigan 64

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