Wednesday was a night to forget for the men’s basketball team as it was dominated at Northern Illinois, 88-63.
Central Michigan was beaten soundly on the boards, getting out-rebounded by the Huskies, 39-19. This is the second-straight loss since their first conference win against Kent State last week.
“The story was rebounding and that we didn’t have the rebounding effort we needed,” said head coach Keno Davis. “We’ve been out-rebounded and, yes, we’ve been out-physicaled by other teams, but we haven’t seen this. We weren’t ourselves tonight and as a coach, I have to make sure we don’t see that again.”
Sophomore guard Chris Fowler is no stranger to leading the team statistically, with 19 points and seven assists, but he isn’t used to leading the team on the boards. His four rebounds tied for a team-high with sophomore Austin Stewart.
CMU shot well in the first half, converting on 48.5 percent of its shots overall and 50 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, but it was out-rebounded 22-7 and trailed, 38-29 heading into the locker room.
“We’ll look at different personnel and different things you can do and hope that this was just one of those games,” Davis said.
The team shot 42.3 percent overall and 32 percent from 3-point range, but failed at the free-throw line, shooting a 57.9 percent (11-of-19).
Freshman guard Braylon Rayson scored 15 points to help out Fowler in the offensive effort, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with NIU.
“It got away from us and I don’t think it was completely representative of our game,” Davis said. “We have to understand what (NIU) is building here is similar to what we’re trying to do in Mount Pleasant. They are in year three and made a nice jump and not only be competitive, but win some games like this in the conference.”
Meanwhile, the Chippewas (8-15, 1-10 MAC) are stuck and they will look for MAC win No. 2 on the road for a 6 p.m. Saturday tip-off against the team it beat for win No. 1, Kent State.
“We were able to get that close victory and we know they will come in fired up,” Davis said. “Kent State can beat anyone in the conference and anyone can beat them. The good thing about basketball is that we don’t have to wait a week to get this one out of our mind.”