Basketball / Sports

Forward Hibbitts has career night in loss to Akron

Sophomore forward Blake Hibbitts defends against Manchester on Nov. 8. Hibbitts scored 17 points in Wednesday's 77-70 loss to Miami (Ohio) at McGuirk Arena. (File photo)

Sophomore forward Blake Hibbitts defends against Manchester on Nov. 8. Hibbitts scored 21 points Saturday in a loss to Akron. (File photo)

Leading the men’s basketball team with 21 points and six rebounds, sophomore Blake Hibbitts was a bright spot for Central Michigan Saturday.

Still, the Chippewas ran out of time and opportunities, dropping their sixth Mid-American Conference game in a row, falling to Akron, 82-74.

“It’s always good to knock down a few shots to get the game going,” Hibbitts said.. “I’m confident with my shots, when you make one, the next one is easier and I was lucky enough to make that first one and they were a little bit easier after that.”

Saturday’s game was the annual “Coaches Versus Cancer” game at McGuirk Arena as CMU took on an Akron team sitting first in the MAC East Division with a record of 12-6, including 4-1 in the conference.

Hibbitts went 7-for-11 in field goal opportunities, making three of five from long range. His 21 points were a new career-high.

“(The 21 points) would have felt a lot better if we had won,” Hibbitts said.

CMU head coach Keno Davis was pleased with his young forward’s performance against Akron.

“(Hibbitts) is one of the best shooters in the conference,” Davis said. “When you look at the percentage he’s shooting for the year, it’s remarkable, especially considering he started so slow.”

Davis has seen the forward’s play increase in quality since the beginning of the season.

“To be able to get his numbers up like he as, I think, is a testament to the hard work that he’s put in and he’s also versatile with his rebounding abilities,” Davis said.

While shooting was a success of the team throughout the first and early into the second half, it began to fail them in the game’s closing minutes.  The team went into the half shooting 52 percent from the floor but ultimately failed to make the most of its chances down the stretch en-route to the loss.

Hibbitts and the rest of the Chippewas will travel to Athens, Ohio Wednesday to take on the Ohio Bobcats.

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