While the University at Buffalo men’s basketball waits to learn its first opponent in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, honors rolled in on Monday for the individual Bulls, especially senior forward Javon McCrea.
McCrea was named to the All-MAC first team for the third straight season, the first UB player to accomplish that. The 6-foot-7 forward from Newark is averaging 18.9 points and 9.8 rebounds a game. In conference play, McCrea leads in points (19.6) and rebounds (9.8).
Three times he was named MAC East Player of the Week and is a prime candidate to be named MAC Player of the Year, which will be announced today.
McCrea is UB’s all-time leading scorer and is just three points shy of the 2,000 mark entering the tournament. Also, he needs 25 rebounds to reach 1,000 and become just the fourth player in conference history with 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.
Senior Joshua Freelove was named honorable mention All-MAC while Shannon Evans was named to the MAC All-Freshman team announced Monday.
Besides McCrea, other first team All-MAC selections are: Julius “Juice” Brown of Toledo, David Brown of Western Michigan, Demetrius “Tree” Treadwell of Akron and Shayne Whittington of Western Michigan.
UB will open play against either Eastern Michigan or Northern Illinois in the quarterfinals at 9 p.m. on Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Bulls’ opponent will be determined by the Wednesday night’s second game of the second-round doubleheader in Cleveland. No. 3 seed UB received two byes into the quarterfinals.
Karrington Ward had 20 points in Eastern Michigan’s 72-60 triumph over visiting Central Michigan, and Northern Illinois defeated Bowling Green, 54-51, in an overtime game marred by 28 turnovers in the first round on Monday night.
UB defeated Northern Illinois twice and scored a single victory over Eastern Michigan at home in the regular season.
Ohio U. and Miami (Ohio) also advanced Monday night. Nick Kellogg scored 17 for Ohio in a 76-64 win over Ball State. Willie Moore had 17 to lead Miami (Ohio) over Kent State, 71-64.
All MAC tournament games except Saturday’s championship game (ESPN2) will be shown on Time Warner Cable Sports Network.
UB’s Mackenzie Loesing was named second team All-MAC team on Monday. Kristen Sharkey of the Bulls was a third-team selection and Alexus Malone was a choice for the All-Freshman team.
The UB women, seeded fourth for the conference tournament, will open play with a quarterfinal game at noon on Thursday against either Ball State or Northern Illinois. They will meet at noon on Wednesday in the second round.
Alexis Lindstrom scored 31 points including nine three-pointers to lead Northern Illinois to an 81-76 overtime win over Eastern Michigan in the first round Monday night.
Ball State routed Kent State, 73-38, as Nathalie Fontaine scored 21 points.
Toledo defeated Ohio U. 61-44, and Western Michigan eliminated Miami (Ohio), 82-72, as Marquisha Harris led the way with 23 points.
During the season, the Bulls went 2-0 against Northern Illinois and 1-0 against Ball State (away).