The men’s basketball team will have another chance to snap its losing streak at 7 p.m. Saturday when it welcomes Toledo to McGuirk Arena.
The losing streak was extended to seven games Wednesday when the Chippewas lost to Ohio, 82-63. Despite the struggles, the team has shown signs of improvement and will look to finally finish a game and pick up a much-needed win.
But it won’t come easy.
The Rockets bring in the fourth-strongest offense in the MAC, scoring 67.9 points per game led by the league’s scoring leader Rian Pearson, a junior guard averaging 18.2 points per game.
Fortunately, CMU has senior guard Kyle Randall, who has scored 20-plus points in the last five games, putting him above Pearson for average points in MAC play.
The two teams are similar when it comes to its play on the boards.
Toledo is the worst defensive rebounding team in the MAC and ninth in offensive rebounds.
The Chippewas are far ahead of the Rockets. The two teams rank ninth and 10th, respectively, in the MAC in rebounding margin.
Freshman forward John Simons had a dominating night on the boards in his recent outing against the Bobcats, pulling down a career-high 11 rebounds. He’s CMU’s top rebounder at 5.3 per game.
Both teams are also careful with the ball. They are tied for third in the MAC this season in assist/turnover ratio with young point guards.
Freshman Chris Fowler is averaging five assists per game and has broken the Chippewas freshman assist record, with 121 on the season, while sophomore Julius Brown is averaging 5.5 assists per game and has 120 on the season for the Rockets.
Toledo was picked to win the MAC West in the preseason, despite not being eligible to go to the MAC tournament because of low APR scores, and was on a five-game winning streak before heading to Buffalo Wednesday night.
It was there that the winning streak ended in a 75-60 loss.
The Chippewas traveled to Toledo in their second MAC game of the season and took the Rockets into overtime but fell short, 76-72. Randall scored 24 points on the night,while Fowler had a season-high nine assists. CMU won the battle on the boards that night as well (37-34), something it will need to do again if it wants to end the seven-game skid.