Around college basketball: Kellogg’s play helps Ohio advance

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TONY DEJAK | ASSOCIATED PRESS
Will Sullivan, right, of Miami drives past Nick Kellogg of Ohio during a tightly contested second half.
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Ohio 63, Miami 55: Senior guard Nick Kellogg of DeSales scored 20 points, including a key three-point play late, as Ohio defeated Miami last night in a second-round game at the Mid-American Conference tournament in Cleveland.

The victory over the eighth-seeded RedHawks sent the fifth-seeded Bobcats (23-10) into today’s third round against No. 4 seed Akron (20-11).

With Ohio up one point with 38 seconds left, Kellogg got behind the RedHawks’ full-court pressure to score on a breakaway layup, and he was fouled on the play. He made the free throw for a 59-55 lead.

It was a gutsy move to take the ball in because a turnover or a miss would have given the ball back to Miami with 30 seconds left; safely holding the ball for a foul and going to the free-throw line would have been just as big.

“Me and my dad (Clark Kellogg) talk about those situations a lot,” Kellogg said. “I’m a big believer, even with the lead, of still attacking. I didn’t want to pull it out.”

Coach Jim Christian was in step with the decision.

“It’s kind of a ‘read’ deal,” he said. “It wouldn’t have hurt to bring it back out, but he’s our best player, and if he reads ‘attack,’ then I agree with that.”

Javarez Willis, who scored 13 points, added two free throws and Kellogg hit another layup for the final eight-point margin, the largest of the second half. Maurice Ndour added 12 points for Ohio.

Willie Moore had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the RedHawks (13-18), and Jaryd Eustace added 15 points.

The Bobcats led 27-23 at halftime. There were five ties and six lead changes in the second half.

Eustace, a 6-foot-7 freshman from Australia, made his presence felt by scoring 10 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, helping the RedHawks take a 43-39 lead.

Willis knocked down a three-pointer coming out of a timeout, and after a Miami turnover, he knocked down another for a 51-47 lead with 5:34 left that led to another timeout by the RedHawks.

LAST NIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS

 

Eastern Michigan 53, Northern Illinois 48: Karrington Ward had 13 points and 12 rebounds to help Eastern Michigan (20-13) advance in the MAC tournament in Cleveland. Seventh-seeded Northern Illinois is 15-17.

Sixth-seeded Eastern Michigan next plays third-seeded Buffalo today.

 

American 55, Boston U. 36: Tony Wroblicky had 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots as visiting American (20-12) defeated top-seeded Boston University (24-10) in the Patriot League championship game, sending the Eagles to the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years.

DePaul 60, Georgetown 56: Billy Garrett Jr. scored 17 points, including the clinching free throws, and 10th-seeded DePaul (12-20) defeated seventh-seeded Georgetown (17-14) for the first time since January 1994 to advance in the Big East tournament in New York.

Notable

• Mick Cronin of Cincinnati was named coach of the year in the American Athletic Conference. Cronin, in his eighth season with the Bearcats, led the team to a 26-5 record, including 15-3 in the AAC. Cincinnati tied with Louisville for the top spot and is the top seed in the conference tournament.

“As a group, I think there is nothing but integrity, so to be coach of the year with nine other coaches that I respect immensely means a lot,” Cronin said. “It also means you’ve got really good players. Whenever you win coach of the year, it means you have a really good team.”

• With an 80-62 loss to Oklahoma State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament, Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith finished with a losing record for the first time in 23 seasons, spanning stops at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota. The Red Raiders were 14-18.

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