CMU fails to extend winning streak against WMU
The men’s basketball team has not won more than two games in a row this season.
Central Michigan came close Saturday at Western Michigan, which is atop the Mid-American Conference West division, but failed to continue its streak in a 71-68 defeat.
Senior guard Kyle Randall kept them in the game with a career-high 33 points, making 12 of 23 from the field and six of 10 from beyond the arc.
“We’re not surprised. We’ve seen it all year,” head coach Keno Davis said. “I would only be surprised if he wasn’t there consistently.”
He could not make the last shot to bring it into overtime.
The three-pointer he took from the right side was on line with the basket, but it bounced off the side of the rim.
Freshman guard Chris Fowler aided Randall by scoring in double figures, with 11 points, for the sixth time in the last seven games after scoring at least 10 points in two of the first 23 games.
He made all five shots from the field, but was one of three from the free throw line.
It was a problem for the whole team with CMU going nine of 16.
“We only got their 16 times,” Davis said. “But even so, if we’re able to shoot our normal percentage and shoot 12 or 13 out of 16, we might win that game.”
The Chippewas frontcourt also had trouble covering center Shayne Whittington who had 16 points, 10 coming in the first seven minutes of the game, and 14 rebounds with four on offense.
The game contrasted WMU’s 76-59 win in the first matchup at McGuirk Arena because of CMU’s success and especially Randall’s from beyond the arc.
He made four three-pointers and had a three point play to give CMU a 33-32 lead after the Chippewas were down 23-13 in the first half.
Freshman forward Blake Hibbitts started the second half where CMU left off, hitting the 10th three-pointer of the game for the Chippewas to give it a 41-34 lead. Randall followed up with a jumper to increase the lead to nine.
But WMU went on a 7-0 run and eventually took the lead after forward Connar Tava scored four straight points to make it 55-53, Broncos, midway through the second half, after CMU led for about the last 12 minutes.
CMU plays in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Monday night.
“We got to see how quickly we can improve as a team in a day,” Davis said. “So our guys are looking forward to playing our conference tournament and starting a new season Monday.”
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