CLEVELAND (AP) -- Justin Dobbins scored 21 points and Eastern Michigan used a late second-half surge to beat Ball State 59-55 in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference tournament on Wednesday.
Dobbins' tip-in with 6:31 left gave Eastern Michigan (14-16) the lead for good, 45-44, and started an 8-0 run that put the Eagles ahead 51-44 with 3:37 to play. The tip-in was followed by a 3-pointer Jesse Bunkley, a layup by Jarred Axon, another basket by Dobbins and a foul shot by Tyler Jones.Dobbins, a 6-foot-8 forward, was 9-of-17 from the field and added six rebounds. Carlos Medlock scored 15 points while Travis Lewis added 12.Anthony Newell led Ball State (6-24) with 17 points. Peyton Stovall added 13.The 10th-seeded Cardinals were 18-of-48 from the field for 37 percent while Eastern Michigan made 20-of-45 shots for 44 percent. Eastern Michigan won the rebound battle, 32-27.The seventh-seeded Eagles play second-seeded Western Michigan in Thursday's quarterfinals.