Chippewas out-shoot Pepperdine, pick up 80-77 road win
Men’s basketball improved to 5-4 after picking up a road win Sunday night at Pepperdine 80-77 behind a strong offensive showing.
CMU shot 50 percent from the field, but was most impressive from three-point range, as it shot 48.3 percent with 14 three-pointers.
The Chippewas also forced the Waves (6-4) into 19 turnovers, while going to the free throw line 20 more times.
“Not many people thought much of Central Michigan coming in (this season),” head coach Keno Davis said. “It’s a different guy each game, you don’t know who’ll come up with a big game.”
Senior guard Kyle Randall led the team in points with 21 and four three-pointers. Freshman forward Blake Hibbitts had 15 points, all from beyond the three-point arc.
Sophomore guard Austin Keel and freshman forward John Simons were each in double figures with 12 points.
Freshman guard Chris Fowler had eight points while handling the ball with seven assists, keeping the CMU offense in control with only eight turnovers.
“Kyle Randall has been pretty solid, but Blake Hibbitts comes in and makes five three-pointers,” Davis said. “We went to the free throw line 24 times to Pepperdine’s 4, that doesn’t happen to young teams to understand how to attack the basket, so we’re learning on the fly and getting better.”
The Chippewas were out-rebounded 34-16, but they didn’t need to rebound to get the win.
Coming into the season Davis’ vision for the team was one that shoots a lot and shoots well, and that’s exactly what he got in this game.
“I do love shooters, I’m not going to disagree with that,” Davis said. “But we’re doing it right now as a necessity, Zach Saylor was our one true center and I hope he recovers quickly, but it’s allowed our young guys to get a lot of experience.”
CMU will return to McGuirk Arena this week to take on Texas State at 7 p.m. Thursday.
“The five and half hour flight will feel a little quicker (Monday),” Davis said.
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