McKay's 17-point second half not enough in loss to Miami


Senior forward Cecil Williams talks to a referee during the basketball game against Miami Ohio on Jan. 23 at McGuirk Arena. 

Kevin McKay scored 17 second-half points during Central Michigan men's basketball's 70-61 loss to the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks on Jan. 23 in McGuirk Arena.

The Chippewas (13-7, 2-5 Mid-American Conference) never regained the lead after halftime. CMU stays at the bottom of the MAC West Division after the loss. 

Head coach Keno Davis said there is "no doubt" the Chippewas have improved, but there is still work to be done.

“We would like to see more wins, but we are a better ball club now," Davis said. "That's something I didn't say last year, it was more about finding ways to win. This year it's about getting better and I think we are."

The RedHawks embarked on a 14-4 run to quickly put the Chippewas in a hole. 

Junior guard Shawn Roundtree hit a pair of 3-pointers and found a layup to bring CMU back to within two points at the 11:27 mark in the first half. 

After going ahead by one, CMU allowed a 10-0 run to trail 29-20 nearing the five minute mark of the opening half.

CMU cut into the deficit, but still trailed 33-27 at halftime.

Miami freshman guard Nike Sibande had his way in the first half — leading all scorers with 13 points and going 3-of-3 from 3-point distance. Roundtree led CMU with 10 points.

The Sibande show continued in the second half as he sunk another corner triple to extend the RedHawk advantage to 43-35 with 14:38 to play.

CMU couldn’t get back inside an eight-point deficit for most of the second half. 

Sophomore forward David DiLeo hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 58-51 with 7:20 remaining.

Sophomore guard Kevin McKay, who had 17 second half points, hit an and-one bucket to bring CMU within five points, 62-57, with 3:16 to go.

Miami senior forward Logan McLane would get a huge slam dunk in the closing seconds to essentially ice the game.

McKay said the loss is disappointing because CMU was just a few stops away from winning.

“When you are that close to coming back, you want to finish it off," McKay said. "We just have to get back in the gym and work for the next game."

McKay’s second half effort was enough to lead the Chippewas in scoring. Roundtree and senior forward Cecil Williams finished with 15 and 14 points, respectively.

"Credit to Miami Ohio, they did a good job just being patient and making shots," Roundtree said. "They found the open man, not all of their shots were easy, but we have to do more and be disruptive."

CMU was out-rebounded 41-32 on the night and had five second half turnovers. Sibande had 22 points to lead the RedHawks. As a team, Miami went 11-of-23 (47.8 percent) from 3-point range.

The Chippewas will take on Kent State at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27 in McGuirk Arena.