Miami 69, CMU 50: Men's basketball losing streak reaches nine; Chippewas shoot 15 percent in first half

Will it ever end?

The reoccurring theme for the Central Michigan men’s basketball team continues.

It lost its ninth-straight game Saturday afternoon, 69-50 against Miami (Ohio) inside John D. Millett Hall in Oxford, Ohio due to a horrendous 3-for-20 shooting performance in the first half.

It’s the longest losing streak in the Ernie Zeigler tenure, which began in 2006.

“I just told our guys that probably since the first half against Toledo, we shot 48 percent in a half, so that was a positive in the second half. But it’s just extremely difficult to put yourself in position to win on the road when you shoot 15 percent,”  Zeigler said. “We just had some guys take a step backward. We had some guys have breakout performances at home and then we go on the road and we take a step backward.”

That step backward has not reached the level the 1994-95 team received when it lost 19 consecutive games, but the Chippewas are backpedaling.

They scored a season-low 15 points heading into halftime and shot a dismal 34 percent from the field against a team that is last in the Mid-American Conference East.

The good news came when Trey Zeigler was showing no sign of struggles from the lower back injury he suffered Wednesday night in the loss against Buffalo.

“I thought he was moving pretty well,” Ernie said. “I thought he was somewhat moving gingerly in terms of stopping, which caused him to make some bad decisions with some of those turnovers he had. Some of those shots he took rushed around the basket I think because he was somewhat afraid of getting hit there.”

Tret tied the game-high, scoring 17 points and had eight rebounds as he led a team that struggles to find consistency in the frontcourt.

Center Andre Coimbra and forward Olivier Mbaigoto scored three points apiece, and forward Zach Saylor dropped in a basket.

Mbaigoto gave CMU its only lead at 19:25 of the first half, but was inefficient from then on.

The Chippewas trailed 10-3 within the first two minutes of the game and the misery rolled into the second half.

Forwards’ Jon Harris and Julian Mavunga scored 17 points and 14 respectively, but were the only two RedHawks in double figures.

Finnis Craddock contributed nine points of the bench for CMU.

The Chippewas try to avoid a double-digit losing streak at 7 p.m. Tuesday inside McGuirk Arena when they face Eastern Michigan, the team they last beat back on Jan. 11.


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