CLEVELAND (AP) -- Danny Horace scored a career-high 28 points,
Chet Mason added 21 and top-seeded Miami of Ohio muscled its way
into the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference tournament with
an ugly 85-65 win over Bowling Green on Thursday night.
The MAC's No. 1 seed for the sixth time overall and first time
since 1999, the Redhawks (19-9) had little trouble handling the
eighth-seeded Falcons (18-11), who beat Miami by one point just 12
It wasn't pretty, though. The teams were whistled for a combined
58 fouls and attempted 66 free throws in a game that got testy at
times. Miami went 33-of-39 from the free-throw line.
The Redhawks took much of the suspense out of this quarterfinal
matchup early, bolting to a double-digit lead in the first half and
pushing their advantage to 20 in the second half on Mason's 3-point
play with 11:06 remaining.
At that point, the Redhawks were 19-of-31 (61 percent) from the
field. With its big cushion, Miami spent the final 10 minutes
running time off the clock and forcing the Falcons to foul and
Miami improved to 7-1 in tournament play against Bowling Green.
No. 7 seed Buffalo, which beat No. 2 seed Toledo 85-72 in the
quarterfinals, will face defending tournament champion Western Michigan in Friday's second semifinal. The third-seeded Broncos
advanced with a 66-60 overtime win against No. 6 seed Akron.
With the Redhawks leading by 10 points early in the second half,
Nathan Peavy scored on a dunk, Horace nailed a jumper and then made
two free throws. Mason, the league's top defensive player this
season, showed some of his offensive prowess with a driving layup
to make it 49-33.
The Falcons couldn't stop Horace inside as the 6-foot-6 senior,
an All-MAC first-team selection, muscled his way underneath for
easy baskets and fouls. Horace made 15-of-17 free throws and added
Horace scored 12 points and Miami shot 65 percent (13-of-20)
from the floor, including 6-of-8 on 3-pointers, in taking a 39-29
lead at the half.
Bowling Green got off to a horrendous start, committing four
turnovers while falling behind 16-3 in the opening eight minutes.
Falcons coach Dan Dakich wasn't pleased with his team's uneven
effort, and it wasn't long before he had stripped off his sports
coat and loosened his tie.
The Falcons clawed back to within seven before Doug Penno's
second 3-pointer put Miami up by 10 at the break.