YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) -- Karrington Ward scored 20 points, hitting 6 of 9 3-pointers, as sixth-seeded Eastern Michigan pulled away from 11th-seeded Central Michigan on Monday in the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament.
Eastern (19-13) had a double-figure lead, but after back-to-back 3s from Blake Hibbitts, Central (10-21) trailed 46-44 with 8:37 to go. However, Eastern then reeled off 18 straight points, fueled by Ward's three treys, making it 64-44 with 3:27 left.
The Eagles will play seventh-seeded Northern Illinois on Wednesday when the tournament resumes in Cleveland.
Eastern had six players hit 3s, making a season-high 12 of 28 from behind the arc. Daylen Harrison had 13 points, and Ray Lee and Mike Talley scored 11 each.
The Chippewas finished 10 of 32 from 3-point range. John Simons had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Hibbitts added 11 points.