Men's basketball burned as WMU shoots 81 percent from the field
Central Michigan came out with the most energy it has had all season against Western Michigan on Friday night.
Diving for loose balls, breakaway dunks, sharp shooting and tough defense was how CMU played.
It showed as the Chippewas took a 38-33 lead into halftime against one of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference.
But then the second half came.
The Broncos came out of the break on fire and never got extinguished.
Shooting a blistering 81 percent from the field in the second half to go along with six 3-pointers on six attempts WMU ran away with the game.
The Broncos went on a 13-0 run and put the game away to win 78-64.
Even buzzer-beater contested shots fell in.
Sophomore point guard Chris Fowler said the easy shots that CMU gave up, led to the hard shots going in.
“It’s very frustrating,” Fowler said. “They made some tough shots, the reason they made those tough shots is because we gave them some easy ones. They got going and they got their rhythm and once they got that they were tough to stop.”
Fowler finished with 15 points.
The amount of energy CMU came with in the first half was second to none this season.
Sophomore John Simons said the team made it a point to get ahead early instead of falling behind.
“I think we came out and played really hard right off the bat,” Simons said. “We’ve had some games where we get down early sometimes by eight points. We came out and played hard. At halftime we said we had to transition that to the second half. We didn’t play as hard as we needed to play in the second half and got ourselves back into a hole.”
WMU players David Brown and Austin Richie combined to shoot 9-for-11 from 3-point range.
All five of the Broncos' starters scored in double figures, that combination was too much for CMU to overcome.
Head coach Keno Davis knew how special Brown was coming into the game.
“I think when you look at the last four games Brown and (Shayne) Whittington were averaging 24 and 25 points per game,” Davis said. “We knew we couldn’t allow them to score 25 points, however Brown got open too many times. Brown knocked down threes. We made one less three than WMU did and we shot 11 more.”
CMU finishes the season with a record of 10-20 and 3-15 in the MAC.
Fowler said CMU will be ready for the MAC Tournament next week and are expecting to win.
“Everybody is zero and zero,” Fowler said. “Everybody has the same chance of winning the championship. Some teams have less games than others but it’s all part of the game. We are going to look at it and go in there and have some fun. We are going in there expecting to win games.”