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MAC Men's Basketball Tournament Roundup: Akron downs Eastern Michigan, 79-62

Isaiah Johnson had a double-double, Noah Robotham scored 19 points and No. 1 seed Akron beat Eastern

Associated Press Published: March 10, 2017 4:00 AM

CLEVELAND -- Isaiah Johnson had a double-double, Noah Robotham scored 19 points and No. 1 seed Akron beat Eastern Michigan 79-62 on Thursday to advance to the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

Johnson, the MAC Player of the Year, finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks and Josh Williams scored 11 for Akron (25-7), which will play fourth-seeded Ball State in the semifinals on Friday.

Robotham hit a 3-pointer and Johnson converted a 3-point play during an 11-0 run that made it 30-21 with 2:10 left in the half and the Zips led the rest of the way.

Ray Lee made back-to-back 3s to pull Eastern Michigan within four and, after a bucket by Johnson, Lee hit two free throws to make it 57-53 with five minutes to go. But Johnson scored four points and Williams hit two 3s during a 14-2 run over the next 2° minutes to push Akron's lead into double figures for good.

James Thompson IV had 18 points and 16 rebounds for No. 8 seed Eastern Michigan (16-17) and Lee hit two 3s and scored 17 points. Lee, a senior, is second in school history with 213 career 3-pointers and fourth with 1,873 points.

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BALL STATE 66, WESTERN MICHIGAN 63

CLEVELAND -- Francis Kiapway scored 16 points, Trey Moses posted a double-double and Ball State made 3-of-6 free throws in the final minute in beating Western Michigan 66-63 in the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Thursday.

Moses had 11 points and 14 rebounds, Franko House added 14 and nine and Ryan Weber scored 10 points for the Cardinals (21-11), who will take on top-seeded Akron in a Friday semifinal.

Cardinals point guard Tayler Persons was injured midway through the first half, taking a knee to the head from teammate Jeremie Tyler as they were diving for a loose ball. Persons was bleeding as he was helped off the court. Ball State coach James Whitford said after the game that Persons was taken to the hospital for precautionary checks, got several stitches and was in the concussion protocol.

Thomas Wilder scored 24 points for the Broncos (16-16), including a 3-pointer with a 1:14 left that tied the game at 63 but missed three shots in the final 45 seconds while three Cardinals made three free throws in three trips to the line in the final minute. Brandon Johnson added 13 points for Western Michigan, which had a nine-game winning streak snapped.

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Kiapway scored 10 points in the first half when Ball State took a 38-33 lead. There were six lead changes and three ties in the second half between the MAC West regular-season co-champions.

The teams split their regular-season games.

OHIO 67, TOLEDO 66

CLEVELAND -- Jason Carter had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Kenny Kaminski hit the go-ahead jumper with seven seconds left and No. 2 seed Ohio beat Toledo 67-66 on Thursday night in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

Jaaron Simmons scored 24 points and Kaminski finished with nine points and three steals for Ohio (20-10), which will face sixth-seed Kent State in the semifinals Friday.

Simmons made a layup to give the Bobcats a 64-61 lead with 1:57 to play but, after each team missed a 3-pointer, Nate Navigato's 3 with 48 seconds left tied it. Jonathan Williams then made a steal and his layup 20 seconds later put seventh-seeded Toledo up 66-64. Carter made 1-of-2 free throws and, after Stevie Taylor Jr. missed the front end of a one-and-one, Kaminski's jumper capped the scoring. Williams missed a layup and Jordan Lauf's put-back attempt was off the mark in the final seconds.

Williams finished with 18 points and Lauf scored 12 for Toledo (17-16). Taylor had nine points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

TODAY'S MAC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

MEN: Semifinals -- Akron vs. Ball State, 5:30 p.m.; Ohio vs. Kent State, 8 p.m.

WOMEN: Semifinals -- Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois, 11 a.m.; Buffalo vs. Toledo, 1:30 p.m.


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