Central Michigan ended its non-conference schedule by dominating Marygrove College (1-14) from the opening tip to the last buzzer, 127-44.
The 83-point margin and 127 points scored were new school records. CMU improved to 7-5 on the year, while controlling both sides of the court against Marygrove.
Freshman guard Braylon Rayson was a menace for the Mustangs, shooting 11-for-16 from beyond the arc for a career-high, 27 points.
Head coach Keno Davis said he has seen a lot of growth from Rayson since the beginning of the season.
“I think Braylon is an individual with a huge amount of confidence,” Davis said. “He is just making the transition from high school to college basketball; some of the things you can do at a lower level, you have to find new ways to score now. I think with the freshmen you are seeing the most improvement from week to week.”
Full-court pressure by the Chippewas turned into easy points Friday.
Davis was happy with the results.
“There were so many things we wanted to do and I think that was one of them,” Davis said. “We didn’t use much of our full-court press but our three-quarter press got to them. I think it disrupted them not only for turnovers but hurried shots. We need to make strides in all areas though in order to compete in the Mid-American Conference.”
Rayson was pleased with the pressure that helped CMU reach the pace they wanted.
“The pressure we put on them was to get our legs ready,” Rayson said. “We wanted to get the tempo up because we are an up-tempo team. If we settle into defense, then we don’t play our game how we want to. We pressured them, they turned it over and we won the game.”
CMU was able to capitalize on steals at mid-court and turn them into lay-ups throughout the night.
Guards Austin Stewart and Rayson each had four steals. Stewart scored 14 points.
“The whole team played well tonight,” Stewart said. “It’s a real positive thing and hopefully we can keep it rolling into conference play.”
In a blow-out victory, sometimes it’s hard to find things to learn from, but Stewart said the team will evaluate individual performances from the game.
“We did win, but then you take away the positives and look at the negatives,” Stewart said. “It’s always good to have a learning game when you win.”
Three players were held out of the game, including freshmen Nick Carlos and Josh Kozinski didn’t play due to a wrist injury and wisdom teeth removal, respectively. Sophomore D.J. Richardson Jr. didn’t play because of the flu.
All three are expected to return soon.