It can be difficult to keep a high-level of intensity after enduring a nine-game losing streak that stretches as far back as January.
But men’s basketball head coach Keno Davis said his team has, with a road game against Ball State at 7 p.m. Friday.
He used Monday’s practice as evidence of it.
“Our guys came back fresh and ready to go,” Davis said. “We practiced twice (last week), and we played at Youngstown. So, what it showed me is that, OK, that final score wasn’t indicative of the team that we are.”
The team that the Cardinals are is different from the one Central Michigan beat on Jan. 19, 71-57, which was the Chippewas last win.
BSU has won three of its last four games, including an upset against Western Michigan, which is atop the Mid-American Conference West.
The undersized Chippewas will have their hands full with junior forward Majok Majok, who is averaging 11 points and, more troubling, 10 rebounds per game.
“They’re going to create some challenges for us inside, and we’re going to have to rebound,” said freshman guard Chris Fowler. “But it’s a game we’re capable of winning.”
The team delivered a group effort in its win against the Cardinals at McGuirk Arena with three scoring in double-figures.
While wins did not come in the last two games, senior guard Kyle Randall’s teammates made their presence felt again on offense, with at least two of his cohorts recording double-figures in scoring in both games.
“For a long time, we were the Kyle Randall show,” Davis said. “We needed him to not just score 20, but to score 30.”
Fowler has led the rest of the pack, scoring 10 points against Ohio, 12 against Toledo and 19 against Youngstown State, in his last three games respectively.
“My team is telling me to be more aggressive,” Fowler said. “I had shots earlier in the year that I didn’t take because I was trying to make the right play. Now, I’m just being more aggressive, looking for my shot, while I’m still getting everybody involved.”
Ball State is the first of the last four games of the regular-season before the conference tournament.
Davis said the next two weeks are less about winning and more about improving, so the team has a realistic shot of beating anyone when March comes around.
CMU is in last in the MAC with a 2-10 conference record, but that has not changed its goals.
“Our goal is to win the MAC tournament. Whenever you get a chance to play in a tournament, your thought is, we’re in there to win it,” Davis said. “Does that mean we’re likely to win it? No.”
Davis said he has a few tricks up his sleeve for the postseason, though execution, effort and making shots are most important.
“You might not see a completely different team,” Davis said. “But, there will be some different things we do both offensively and defensively that we’ve been working on.”