MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich – The Central Michigan Chippewas gave a dramatic lesson on (basketball) relativity Wednesday at McGuirk Arena. In the process, CMU cruised to a 105-77 win over Miami, raising its record to 12-2 overall (2-1 MAC). Miami fell to 6-10 (1-2 MAC).
Central, playing its first Mid-American Conference home game after splitting a pair on the road in Week One, bounced back in a big way from Saturday’s 83-65 loss at Ball State. The Chippewas, in fact, nearly equaled Saturday’s point total with 62 points in the first half against MU.
"The way our players responded when we came back to practice (after Ball State)," coach Keno Davis said, "we had, arguably, our two best days of practice all year coming off of a loss.
"And that's what you expect as a coach, you expect them to be upset and wanting to play harder and better. I cut practices short because we were going so hard I was afraid of injury and I wanted to have legs (for Miami). I didn't want to peak in practice and come out and not play well."
(CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE . . . )
Miami’s offensive numbers looked good enough to win on many nights and gave scarcely a clue that it would be on the bad end of a blowout. The RedHawks connected on 54 percent (27-of-50) from the field overall and 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from beyond the arc.
Relative to the Chippewas, however, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough. Central Michigan put on a shooting clinic, hitting 68.6 percent (35-of-51) from the field and an astounding 19-of-27 (70.4%) on threes.
“It was just one of those games where everything was clicking for us offensively,” CMU junior guard Chris Fowler said. “This team doesn’t lack for confidence. Sometimes they go in; sometimes they don’t.”
“It was unbelievable,” Miami coach John Cooper said. “We just couldn’t keep up.”
Sophomore guard Josh Kozinski led five Chippewas in double figures. He nailed 6-of-7 from the field – all threes – and one free throw for 19 points. Fowler netted 16 points (including 2-of-3 treys), while John Simons and Austin Keel added 15 apiece. Simons got all his points from distance, hitting each of his five of his 3-point attempts. Rayshawn Simmons had 14 points and was one of the few regulars who didn’t do damage from beyond the arc – at least directly. Both he and Fowler had nine assists as they repeatedly found shooters ready to pull the trigger.
Miami was led by point guard Eric Washington. He had 23 points, including 10 (10-of-11) from the free throw line. Center L.J. Livingston guard Geovonie McKnight both added 11 points.
Miami returns to action Saturday in Buffalo (3 p.m. ET), meeting the Bulls for the second time in 10 days. UB won the first meeting, 79-72.
Central Michigan will be at Akron Saturday (7 p.m. ET).
(Picture courtesy of CMU Athletics)