PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY PUBLIC RELATIONS
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY PUBLIC RELATIONS
RedHawks Begin Final Week of Regular Season
Game tips at 7 p.m. and will air live on the Spectrum Sports as well as ESPN3
AKRON, Ohio – The Miami University men’s basketball hits the road for the final week of the regular season. First up is a trip to Akron Tuesday for a 7 p.m. tip. The game will air live on Spectrum Sports, as well as ESPN3. An audio broadcast can be heard on the Miami Sports Network from IMG College.
SEED SECURE: With two games remaining, the RedHawks have clinched the 12 seed in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament. Miami will travel to the fifth seed next Monday to open the first round. Tip time will be either 7 or 7:30 p.m. depending on if the host site is also hosting a women’s MAC Tournament contest. The winner of that first round game will advance to Cleveland and Quicken Loans Arena for the quarterfinal round on Thursday at approximately 2:30 p.m.
MICHAEL WEATHERS APPROACHING 500 POINTS: Already with the Miami freshman scoring record, freshman guard Michael Weathers is only 18 points short of scoring 500 for the season. If he is able to reach that mark, he will be the first RedHawk to do so since Michael Bramos finished with 537 during the 2008-09 campaign.
ABOUT AKRON: The Zips are 23-6 overall and 13-3 in the MAC. They have already clinched the regular season championship and will be the top seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament. They broke a rare two-game losing streak with an 89-83 victory at Buffalo on Saturday. Akron is led by senior center Isaiah Johnson. He averages 16.6 points per game. Another key player is senior forward Kwan Cheatham, Jr. He averages 11.7 points and a team-leading 7.6 rebounds per contest.
THE SERIES WITH AKRON: The Zips holds a slight, 29-28, all-time lead in the series with the RedHawks. Akron took that lead with a 74-70 victory on Jan. 14 in the teams’ first meeting this season in Oxford. A game that was close throughout saw Miami build a 63-60 lead late. The Zips answered with a 6-0 run to go in front, while the RedHawks were unable to get back over the hump. Junior forward Logan McLane finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds for Miami, while freshman guard Michael Weathers and junior guard Abdoulaye Harouna each contributed 12 points.
UP AHEAD: Miami completes the regular season with its second “Battle of the Bricks” game in as many weeks as it travels to Ohio on Friday. The game will tip at a special time of 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on the CBS Sports Network. An audio broadcast will be available on the Miami Sports Network from IMG College.
GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN BY Michael Roth; COURTESY MIAMI ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
WBK: Buckeyes Win 2016-17 Big Ten Championship
Ohio State finishes Big Ten play at 15-1
COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the 15th time in program history, the Ohio State Buckeyes are the Big Ten Champions. The Buckeyes defeated Rutgers 73-45 on Sunday to finish the regular season 25-5 overall and 15-1 in Big Ten Play.
This is the first Big Ten regular season title for the Buckeyes since 2010. The Buckeyes lead the conference with 15 titles as no other program has more than nine titles.
Kelsey Mitchell led three Buckeyes in double-figures with 21 points and five assists. Senior Shayla Cooper was 3-of-6 from long range and finished with 12 points while Sierra Calhoun chipped-in with 10 points.
Asia Doss hit both of her three-point attempt for nine points and Alexa Hart only had two points but grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Scarlet Knights were led by Shrita Parker with 16 points.
Coming off the fast-paced up and down game against Maryland last Monday, Sunday’s game seemed like a grind. OSU shot just 40 percent from the floor but held Rutgers to 32 percent and forced the Scarlet Knights into 21 turnovers.
Rutgers opened the scoring with a three-pointer but the Buckeyes would score the next 15 points to take command of the game. OSU led 18-6 after the first quarter and had forced nine turnovers. The Buckeyes out-scored Rutgers 19-11 in the second and led 37-18 at the break.
Rutgers scored 19 points in the third quarter but Ohio State was able to close out the game with a 20-9 run in the fourth quarter for the final score of 73-45.
With the win, the Buckeyes have secured the No. 1 seed in next week’s Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. OSU will play the winner of the 8/9 game between Iowa and Northwestern on Friday at Noon.
GAME RECAP WRITTEN BY GARY PETIT; COURTESY OSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Akron, Ohio – For the second straight season, the Akron Zips men’s basketball program secured the Mid-American Conference Regular-Season Championship and earned the No. 1 Seed for the MAC Tournament.
After Friday’s 89-83 road win against Buffalo (Feb. 24), the Zips improved to 23-6 overall and 13-3 in MAC play, owning a 2.5-game lead over the league with two games to play. On Saturday, Feb. 25, Kent State defeated Ohio 70-67 at the M.A.C. Center, which solidified Akron with sole possession of the 2017 MAC regular-season title, MAC East Championship, and as the MAC tournament’s top seeded team.
Under 13th-year head coach Keith Dambrot, this year’s Zips have claimed four championships and conquered several milestones while navigating through this storybook season. The 2016-17 squad suffered a setback in the season opener, but recovered by winning six straight games in November, including four games in the inaugural Savannah Invitational. Those four games proved to be enough to secure 2016 Savannah Invitational Championship with the Most Valuable Player Award going to senior center Isaiah Johnson (Cincinnati, Ohio). In addition, junior guard Antino Jackson (Houston, Texas) was named to the all-tournament team.
During the month of December, Akron posted a 4-2 record with both losses coming from national powerhouses that currently rank No. 23 Creighton (Dec. 3) and No. 1 Gonzaga (Dec. 10) in both the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches’ polls. Despite those setbacks, the Zips collected four wins and closed the month with a three-game winning streak. During the run, Akron won two games at the 55th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational to claim its second championship this season. Jackson was named tournament MVP and Johnson was selected to the all-tournament squad.
The Zips carried the momentum into January’s conference schedule, posting an unblemished 9-0 mark while achieving a 12-game winning streak. The 12-game run ranked No. 5 in the NCAA, and was the second longest winning streak in the Dambrot era.
For the eighth straight season, Akron won its MAC opener, defeating Bowling Green, 89-84 (Jan. 3). The win also gave Dambrot his 289th win at Akron, making him the program’s all-time wins leader. Dambrot’s milestone surpassed the previous 288 wins record held by Russell Beichly (1941-59) in 10 fewer games.
Two games later, at Central Michigan (Jan. 10), Johnson recorded a career-high 33 points, which pushed him over the 1,000 career point mark. He is the 42nd member of the Zips’ 1,000 Point Club and 12th player to enter the elite club under Dambrot. In the following game, at Miami (Jan. 14), Dambrot earned his 400th collegiate win, and the Zips kept rolling.
On January 20, the Zips defeated Eastern Michigan 70-63 at James A. Rhodes Arena. It was Akron’s 27th consecutive win at Rhodes Arena and new facility record, replacing a 26-game run during the 1985-87 seasons under head coach Bob Huggins. Later that evening, the Zips were selected by ESPN’s Kevin O’Connor as Kevin’s Star of the Night on ESPN SportsCenter. The Zips closed out the month with a win at Northern Illinois (Jan. 31) that marked the 12th consecutive regular season MAC win, the second longest in Dambrot’s tenure.
By the end of January, Akron started to grab the attention of the national media. ESPN’s Dick Vitale, Seth Greenberg, and Joe Lunardi mentioned the Zips when considering March Madness and bracket busters. In addition, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein and Sports Illustrated’s Molly Geary wrote about the Zips continued success. Furthermore, the Zips cracked the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches’ polls for three consecutive weeks, receiving as many as five votes in the AP poll (Jan. 30) and one vote in the coaches’ poll (Jan. 30).
In February, the nation’s fifth longest winning streak came to an end at the OU Convocation Center (Feb. 4) as Ohio handed Akron its first conference loss and first loss since Dec. 10. The Zips bounced back with their 29th straight win at the JAR thanks to a last second shot by Johnson. The 16-foot buzzer beater lifted the Zips to a 65-63 win over Ball State (Feb. 7) and was selected No. 8 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. The win also gave Akron its 20th win of the season and tied the fastest UA team to reach 20 wins (24 games) in Akron’s Division I era.
Akron secured its 21st win of the season at Eastern Michigan (Feb. 10), giving the Zips 12-straight seasons with at least 21 wins. It is an accomplishment that only four programs in the county have completed – Akron, Gonzaga, Kansas, and Duke. Meanwhile, Akron continued to appear in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll with two votes (Feb. 6 and Feb. 13)
Milestones continued to fall as the Zips extended their home-court winning streak 30 games, and Dambrot reached his 300th career win at Akron when UA defeated Toledo (Feb. 14).
The following game, the NCAA’s No. 2 ranked longest home-court winning streak came to an end when the Zips dropped a close game to Kent State (Feb. 17). Three days later, Akron dropped its second consecutive game for the first time of the season as Bowling Green buried two free throws with 2.3 seconds left in regulation at the Stroh Center (Feb. 21). The Zips rebounded with a big road win against Buffalo (Feb. 24), and only one game remains in February, Senior Day against Miami (Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.).
In March, the madness begins with the final regular-season game at Kent State (March 3 at 9 p.m.). Following the rivalry game, the Zips will call Quicken Loans Arena home with hopes of adding to this storybook season.
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Brian Dennison; COURTESY AKRON ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
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