WMU MAC Tourney

March 14, 2008

Article from http://www.gozips.com/ .....

Men's Hoops Cruises to 73-62 Win Over Western Michigan

CLEVELAND Chris McKnight led the University of Akron men's basketball team with 16 points as the Zips advanced themselves to the Mid-American Conference title game for the second-straight year with a 73-62 win over Western Michigan in a rough-and-tumble semifinal on Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena. The third-seeded Zips, beaten by Miami (Ohio) on a controversial buzzer-beating 3-pointer in last year's tournament championship, avenged a 22-point regular-season loss to the Broncos last month. Now, they'll get a chance to play for their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1986.

Akron (23-9) will face top-seeded Kent State in Saturday's championship, with the MAC's automatic NCAA bid on the line. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. EDT and will be televised on ESPN2. McKnight converted 8-of-10 field goals and also had two rebounds and one blocked shot. UA's Cedrick Middleton added 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, including making 3-of-4 3 pointers. Jeremiah Wood had 12 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists for the Zips, who shot 58.7 percent (27-of-46) from the floor and made their free throws down the stretch. Leading by 13 at halftime, Akron stayed comfortably ahead with a patient inside-outside game. Anytime the Broncos made a run, the Zips answered with one of their own.

Western Michigan (20-12) was able to trim a 14-point deficit to eight in the final two minutes, and the Broncos had the ball with a chance to get closer, but couldn't knock down a shot and Akron was able to put it away at the free-throw line. The Zips went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final 1:12 Bodies were flying all over the floor during an intense first half. Akron's Nick Dials had his lip bloodied in one skirmish and WMU's Andrew Hershberger was a little wobbly at one point after some contact underneath. Dials finished with a game-high five assists and also had five rebounds, playing 34 minutes.

The Zips' outside shooting allowed them to open up some distance from the Broncos in the opening 20 minutes. Middleton made three 3-pointers and Brett McKnight, Chris' younger brother, and Nate Linhart hit one apiece as Akron opened a 37-24 halftime lead. Brett rounded out the Zips double-figure scorers, with 11 points in 20 minutes off the bench. WMU's Joe Reitz had a game high in points (19) and rebounds (nine), while David Kool had 17 points and Shawntes Gary pitched in 14 for the Broncos who shot 44.7 percent (21-47) from the field.


Official Basketball Box Score
Akron vs Western Michigan
03/14/08 7:04 PM EDT at Cleveland, OH (Quicken Loans Arena)

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VISITORS: Akron 23-9
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
21 WOOD, Jeremiah...... f  5-9    0-0    2-8    3  3  6   4  12  3  2  0  4  28
30 McKNIGHT, Chris..... f  8-10   0-1    0-0    0  2  2   2  16  0  1  1  0  24
33 LINHART, Nate....... f  3-5    1-2    0-0    2  1  3   2   7  1  1  0  1  33
01 MIDDLETON, Cedrick.. g  5-7    3-4    0-0    0  1  1   1  13  1  1  0  2  27
11 DIALS, Nick......... g  1-4    1-4    2-2    1  4  5   1   5  5  2  0  0  34
02 MILUM, Quade........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   0  1  0  0  0   6
04 McNEES, Steve.......    0-1    0-1    0-0    1  0  1   1   0  2  1  0  0   9
12 ROBERTS, Darryl.....    3-4    1-1    2-2    0  2  2   3   9  1  1  0  0  17
23 McKNIGHT, Brett.....    2-6    1-2    6-8    1  3  4   4  11  0  1  0  0  20
54 BARDO, Mike.........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   2
   TEAM................                         1  1  2
   Totals..............   27-46   7-15  12-20   9 19 28  19  73 14 10  1  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-28 57.1%   2nd Half: 11-18 61.1%   Game: 58.7%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-9  55.6%   2nd Half:  2-6  33.3%   Game: 46.7%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  0-0   0.0%   2nd Half: 12-20 60.0%   Game: 60.0%    3


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HOME TEAM: Western Michigan 20-12
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 HERSHBERGER, Andrew. f  2-3    1-1    0-0    1  1  2   2   5  1  0  0  1  22
42 REITZ, Joe.......... c  7-9    0-0    5-6    3  6  9   4  19  3  3  0  0  35
22 REDELL, Michael..... g  1-3    1-2    0-0    0  0  0   0   3  1  1  0  0  17
23 KOOL, David......... g  6-13   3-5    2-4    0  2  2   3  17  0  3  0  1  37
34 GARY, Shawntes...... g  5-12   1-4    3-3    3  2  5   3  14  1  2  1  1  33
01 FRACALOSSI, Derek...    0-0    0-0    2-2    0  1  1   1   2  1  3  0  0  15
04 DREWS, Derek........    0-2    0-2    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  1  1  0  0   4
12 RICKS, Andre........    0-5    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   4   0  0  1  0  2  25
21 McLEMORE, Martelle..    0-0    0-0    2-2    0  1  1   0   2  0  0  0  0   8
33 LAWSON, Donald......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   0  0  0  0  0   4
   TEAM................                         3  1  4
   Totals..............   21-47   6-15  14-17  10 15 25  19  62  8 14  1  5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-18 44.4%   2nd Half: 13-29 44.8%   Game: 44.7%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  0-4   0.0%   2nd Half:  6-11 54.5%   Game: 40.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  8-10 80.0%   2nd Half:  6-7  85.7%   Game: 82.4%    0


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Officials: Terry Wymer, Bo Boroski, Mike Foote
Technical fouls: Akron-None. Western Michigan-None.
Attendance:
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Akron.........................   37   36  -   73
Western Michigan..............   24   38  -   62

Points in the paint-AKRON 28,WESTERN 28. Points off turnovers-AKRON 11,WESTERN 8.
2nd chance points-AKRON 12,WESTERN 8. Fast break points-AKRON 2,WESTERN 0.
Bench points-AKRON 20,WESTERN 4. Score tied-0 times. Lead changed-0 times.
Last FG-AKRON 2nd-05:24, WESTERN 2nd-01:31.
Largest lead-AKRON by 17 2nd-07:35, WESTERN None.

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