Men’s basketball looks to rebound after second loss of season
After falling short against Southern Utah in Cedar City, the Central Michigan men’s basketball team will attempt to turn things around in its final game on the road before returning to McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant.
The Chippewas (8-2) will take on Missouri-Kansas City at 7 p.m. on Dec. 19 at Municipal Auditorium. The Kangaroos are 3-9 on the season, playing in the Western Athletic Conference.
UMKC is led by senior guard Broderick Robinson, who averages 12.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He has played a team-high 334 minutes across 11 games.
Junior forward Aleer Leek is the only other player besides Robinson to start all 11 games for the Kangaroos. He has logged an average of 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game this season.
In its most recent game of the season, UMKC fell to NC State, 88-69, PNC Arena in Raleigh. UMKC battled against No. 3 Wichita State in the first match of the season, losing at Charles Koch Arena, 109-57.
While the Kangaroos are coming off three-straight losses, CMU’s seven-game winning streak was snapped on Dec. 16 by Southern Utah, 86-80. The Chippewas fought back from being down 16 points, but came up empty down the stretch.
“It stings to lose,” CMU head coach Keno Davis said. “Now you take this loss and you hope to use it as a positive. Sometimes when you lose you’re able to focus on (improving) more if you’ve got great character, and one thing we’re not short on is character.
“The nice thing about college basketball is you don’t have to wait a week until you play again, you get another game in a couple days. Part of the reason we scheduled these two road games was to get us ready for the conference. You never like to lose to get better, but hopefully that’s what happened today.”
Losing to the Thunderbirds was CMU’s first lost since falling at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor against Michigan, 72-65, on Nov. 13.
Senior forward Cecil Williams is a trailblazer for the Chippewas, averaging 13.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. The 6-foot-6, 215-pounder from Missouri registered his fourth career double-double in CMU’s loss to Southern Utah, recording 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Following his transfer from Edwardsville, junior guard Shawn Roundtree has been on a tear. He averaged 13.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game for CMU. He won the Great Alaska Shootout Most Valuable Player in the November tournament in Anchorage.
“It was great,” Roundtree Jr. said. “My freshman year at my first school we went up there and left empty-handed. For this opportunity a second time around, to be able to win it and win MVP meant a lot. I just have to continue to work.”
Following the game against UMKC on Dec. 19, the Chippewas will return to McGuirk Arena on Dec. 22 and Dec. 29 for their final two non-conference games of the season against SIU-Edwardsville and Lawrence Tech.
Then, CMU will take on Ohio to start Mid-American Conference play at 7 p.m. on Jan. 2 in Mount Pleasant.