Men's basketball snaps nine-game losing streak with second-straight win against Eastern Michigan
Too bad the Central Michigan men’s basketball team doesn’t play Eastern Michigan every game.
A team that continuously approached the post game press conferences with disappointed faces had a reason to smile Tuesday night inside McGuirk Arena after beating EMU 55-52 in front of 1,043 fans.
“I’m so happy that we ended this skid,” said head coach Ernie Zeigler. “Our guys did a heck of a job here, persevering and fighting through. We’ve been going through a really, really tough stretch. I told our guys to start this week, tough things don’t last, but tough guys do.”
CMU (8-17, 3-9 in Mid-American Conference) longed for a win amidst a nine-game losing streak that dates back to the team’s last win which was over EMU Jan. 11.
Eight CMU players scored in the winning effort.
“It’s a great feeling,” said freshman Austin McBroom. “We have a lot of guys that can score and everybody came through tonight. It was a team win.”
CMU held an 11-point lead with 11:09 left in the first half, only to see it dwindled down to as little as one after an Anthony Strickland 3-point basket with 11:54 remaining in the game.
The run was halted when the game became the McBroom show.
The point guard converted on three-straight jump shots after junior Olivier Mbaigoto's layup.
Just like that it was up to a 10-point lead with 7:53 remaining. EMU cut the lead down six, but could never get over the hump, giving the Eagles their fourth loss in five games.
If any doubts still remained with the Chippewas up 54-47 and less than a minute to play, sophomore forward Jevon Harden erased them, electrifying the crowd with a pull-down block as J.R. Sims went up for a layup.
The Chippewas opened the game on a 3-point frenzy.
They shot 6-of-13 from 3-point range in the first half, but only carried a four-point lead into the locker room because of a 7-0 advantage for the Eagles on made free throws.
“I think our guys recognized those shots and we have some guys that can knock them down,” Ernie said about the 3-point attempts."I thought we shot too many in the first half to be honest with you. More than half our shots at the half were from three, but we knocked down six of them and did a good job. None of them were rushed threes."
However, CMU wasn’t to be denied.
The basket must have looked like an ocean on this night.
CMU shot an uncharacteristic 46.9 percent from the floor, one game after shooting 15 percent (3-of-20) in the first half of its 69-50 loss Saturday against Miami (Ohio).
The Chippewas are looking in a new direction at 7 p.m. Saturday against Texas A & M-Corpus Christi inside McGuirk Arena.
CMU looks to begin a win streak, the Islanders are 4-20 on the season.