CLEVELAND - Kent State guard Al Fisher was named the Mid-American Conference's player of the year yesterday, edging out Ohio's Leon Williams.
Fisher leads the Golden Flashes in scoring (14.3 points) and assists (4.2). Before offering him a scholarship last summer, no one on Kent State coach Jim Christian's staff had ever seen the junior college transfer play in person.
"This is a tremendous achievement for Al," said Christian, voted the MAC's top coach. "The impact he made this year as a newcomer to the league is remarkable. I can't say enough about the lift he has given our program this season."
Fisher beat out Williams by six votes in the media voting. Western Michigan's Joe Reitz was third.
No. 12 Butler 70,
Cleveland StATE 55
INDIANAPOLIS - Mike Green matched his career high with 24 points and No. 12 Butler used a big second-half run to beat Cleveland State for its fifth Horizon League title and first automatic berth in the NCAA tournament since 2001.
Butler (29-3) blew a 14-point lead in the first half but pulled away again midway through the second half and took a 60-44 lead with six minutes left. Nathan Bullock led Cleveland State (21-12) with 21 points.
Western Kentucky 67,
Middle Tennessee 57
MOBILE, Ala. - Jeremy Evans had 20 points and 14 rebounds as Western Kentucky defeated Middle Tennessee to win the Sun Belt Conference tournament championship and an NCAA bid.
Tyrone Brazelton and Courtney Lee added 13 points apiece for Western Kentucky (27-6), won the Sun Belt for the sixth time.
Desmond Yates had 16 points for Middle Tennessee (17-15).
Oral Roberts 71,
TULSA - Moses Ehambe hit seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points, and Oral Roberts (24-8) earned an automatic NCAA tournament berth by beating IUPUI (26-7) for its third straight Summit League title.
Robert Jarvis added 16 points and Shawn King scored 10, and the two teamed up to lead the Golden Eagles down the stretch.
George Hill had 24 points to lead the Jaguars.