Men’s basketball bounces Siena Heights in season opener, 108-48
Behind a solid performance from senior forward Cecil Williams, the Central Michigan men’s basketball team got off on the right foot to start the 2017-18 season.
Williams paced CMU (1-0) with 21 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and five steals in a 108-48 win over Siena Heights (1-1) on Friday, Nov. 10 at McGuirk Arena.
“He’s made great progression in his game,” said head coach Keno Davis. “You are seeing a lot more of it already this year than last year. I think he’s going to continue to improve throughout the year. I like the versatility and production he brings.”
Williams said his hard work has allowed him to take the next step in his game.
“It’s just playing aggressive and with a lot of effort,” Williams said. “Then, picking and choosing when I want to go get the ball.”
Sophomore forward David DiLeo opened the scoring for CMU with three straight free throws after being fouled on a 3-pointer from the corner.
The Chippewas extended their lead to 55-24 at the break and continued their dominance into the second half.
Siena Heights plays in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, which is a league in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The Saints were led by Trevor Holston, who logged 12 points and five rebounds.
“In a game we pulled away from, I don’t think it was Siena Heights giving up,” Davis said. “Even though the game was in hand, we were trying to get everything out of it.”
CMU sophomore guard Kevin McKay played all over the floor, spending time at every position but the center spot. He tallied a team-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. He chipped in nine rebounds and one assist.
“My teammates found me for easy layups and I was able to get to the rim,” McKay said. “Last year, I was playing power forward and center. This year, I’m playing mostly small forward, so I get a running start for rebounds.”
McKay logged 24 minutes in the win, which was tied with Williams for the team-high.
“I told (Kevin) not to be surprised if he played more minutes than anyone today,” Davis said. “With the experience of Josh Kazinski, Cecil Williams and a truer point guard in (Shawn) Roundtree, I was just looking on how to start the game off effectively. Obviously, Kevin is a big part of this year’s team.”
The Chippewas head to Crisler Center in Ann Arbor for a battle against Michigan on Monday, Nov. 13. Tip off is at 7 p.m.
“Our guys will have nerves going in there,” Davis said. “Going in against a Big Ten opponent on the road, we understand we will make mistakes. You’ll see a lot of different things from us against Michigan.”
- Freshman guard Matt Beachler and redshirt freshman center Innocent Nwoko both scored their first collegiate points in CMU’s win.
- Transfer guards Shawn Roundtree and Gavin Pepper scored 12 points and 11 points, respectively, in their CMU debut.
- CMU held Siena Heights leading scorer Tony Jackson II to just three points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field.