AKRON 70, BALL STATE 61
CLEVELAND -- The third-seeded Akron Zips defeated the second-seeded Ball State Cardinals 70-61. The Zips advance to their first-ever Mid-American Conference Championship Game, where they will take on the fourth-seeded Central Michigan Chippewas today at 1 p.m.
The Zips lost their only meeting with Central Michigan this year, 69-62.
With the game knotted up at 59 with 3:19 to play, Hanna Luburgh nailed a three to give the Zips the lead for good. Akron closed out the game on an 11-2 run. Luburgh finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds. Luburgh was 8-8 from the free throw line and played the entire 40 minutes of the game.
Through the first eight minutes of the game, the Zips connected on 5-9 from the 3-point line. Taylor Ruper hit four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 12 points for the game.
Ball State turned the ball over 13 times, which led to 16 points for Akron. Despite 19 turnovers from the Zips, Ball State managed only 13 points off of turnovers.
Brittany Carter led the Cardinals with 18 points and four rebounds. Nathalie Fontaine chipped in with 15 points and six rebounds. Ball State had just one field goal over the last 3:19.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN 66, TOLEDO 61
CLEVELAND -- The fourth-seeded Central Michigan Chippewas advanced to the MAC Championship after knocking off top-seeded Toledo 66-61. The Chippewas will play the Akron today at 1 p.m.
Central Michigan will make its second-straight appearance in the MAC Championship Game. Last year, the Chippewas lost to Eastern Michigan 72-71.
With seven seconds to go, Jessica Schroll blocked Naama Shafir's 3-point attempt to tie the game up. Schroll was then fouled and converted both free throws with two seconds left to seal the game for the Chippewas.
The Chippewas took control from the very beginning, hitting four straight three-pointers to open the game to take a 12-4 lead. Central Michigan shot 36 percent from beyond the arc.
Crystal Bradford led the Chippewas with 20 points and played with four fouls over the last 8:56.
Toledo was led by Inma Zanoguera who finished with 16 points. The Rockets also had two other players finish in double-figures-Shafir finished with 15 points and Yolanda Richardson had 13.
The Rockets saw their 15-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of Central Michigan, the same team that ended their 11-game winning streak earlier this season. The loss drops Toledo to 27-3.
-- Staff and wire report