CLEVELAND — Pat Forsythe scored 12 points and Deji Ibitayo scored the game-winning free throw as seventh-seeded Akron rallied to beat Kent State 53-51 on Thursday to advance to face second-seeded Buffalo in a Mid-American Conference tournament semifinal Friday.
Antino Jackson scored 11 points and Isiah Johnson added 10 and blocked three shots for the Zips (21-13).
Akron trailed the third-seeded Golden Flashes 27-19 at halftime Thursday night after shooting 24.1 percent.
Ibitayo tied it at 39 in the second half on two free throws then Forsythe scored five straight points to put Akron up 44-41. Kent State retook the lead 45-44 on a jumper by Derek Jackson. Elida graduate Reggie McAdams hit a 3, then Ibitayo made two free throws and Akron retook the lead 52-51 with 39 seconds left. Nyles Evans iced it with a free throw.
Jimmy Hall led Kent State (22-10) with 14 points and Jackson added 12. McAdams finished with three points, three rebounds and a steal.
Toledo 78, Eastern Michigan 67
CLEVELAND — Nathan Boothe scored 20 points, J.D. Weatherspoon added 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and No. 4 Toledo beat Eastern Michigan to advance to Friday’s semifinal against top-seeded Central Michigan in the Mid-American Conference tournament.
Julius Brown scored 17, Justin Drummond had 11 and the Rockets (20-12) ended No. 8 seed Eastern Michigan’s four-game winning streak while notching a 20-win season for the second straight year.
A three-point play by Boothe sparked a 10-3 run which gave Toledo an 18-11 lead and the Rockets went into halftime up 38-28.
Boothe scored the Rockets’ first five points and blocked a shot to open the second half before Toledo scored seven straight to lead 52-40 with 11:22 left. Weatherspoon had back-to-back dunks, then made two free throws and Toledo led by 18 points with 4:41 left. The Eagles scored three straight 3-pointers to pull within 78-67 with 17 seconds left.
Raven Lee scored 16 and Karrington Ward and Mike Talley added 12 apiece for Eastern Michigan (21-13).