Western Michigan outlasts men’s basketball in overtime, 83-81

Central Michigan sophomore guard David DiLeo attacks the basket against Western Michigan on Feb. 20 at University Arena.

After taking its first lead over 33 minutes into the game, Central Michigan men's basketball forced overtime in a 83-81 loss to Western Michigan in Kalamazoo. 

The Chippewas (16-12, 5-10 Mid-American Conference) fell to WMU (16-12, 8-7 MAC) on Feb. 20 at University Arena. 

“We work so hard and we have such great young men on this team,” said CMU head coach Keno Davis. “We are in every game. Western Michigan circles this game and talks about it all year."

CMU jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but the Broncos responded with a 17-2 run — giving the home squad a 17-7 lead. 

“It’s Central (versus) Western,” said WMU head coach Steve Hawkins. “It doesn’t matter whether the chess teams play. Central was at its best tonight. I thought (CMU was) really, really good."

CMU junior guard Shawn Roundtree scored an up-and-under layup to cut the deficit to four points, 26-22, with 6:52 remaining. 

“We are leaving with the feeling we know we can be one of the best teams in the conference,” Roundtree said. “Tonight, we just fell short.” 

Sophomore forward David DiLeo kept the Chippewas in the game early. He knocked down three of his first six 3-pointers to help push CMU within two points at the 4:47 mark in the first half.

NBA prospect Thomas Wilder, a WMU senior guard, buried a mid-range jumper moments later in response to DiLeo’s triple — giving WMU a 33-29 edge. 

In the final minutes of the first half, WMU scored four-straight points to push CMU’s deficit to 39-33 at the break in Kalamazoo. 

With 11:24 remaining, DiLeo cashed in on a jumper from the free-throw-line — trimming CMU’s deficit to one point.

With 7:59 to go, CMU senior forward Cecil Williams had an open lane but dished the ball to the 3-point line for DiLeo, who knocked it down to close the gap to one point.  

The Broncos held the lead for more than 33 minutes, but Roundtree tied the game, 65-65, with two free throws with 2:27 left in the rivalry matchup. 

“(Coming back) shows we are resilient and aren’t going down without a fight,” Roundtree said. “We have to remember to play like that the whole game.”

WMU’s late lead was snapped as McKay drove the lane and drew a foul with 6.3 seconds left. The sophomore guard knocked down both free throws, sending the game to overtime in a 69-69 tie. 

Wilder buried the first shot of overtime, giving WMU a 71-69 edge over the Chippewas. With 3:45 left, Wilder pushed the margin to four points on back-to-back free throws. He finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Broncos. 

“He’s a smart player,” Roundtree said. “When it came to overtime, he did a great job of leading his team to victory and making plays. He’s a great player.” 

Just as momentum turned the Broncos, DiLeo cut WMU’s edge to one point, 73-72, on a triple from the right side with 3:36 to go in overtime. 

CMU’s next offensive possession resulted in a slam dunk by McKay, taking the lead. 

Following a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Reggie Jones to give WMU the lead, CMU took it back, 81-80, on a layup by CMU senior forward Luke Meyer with 29 seconds remaining. 

Down 83-81 after a Bronco 3-pointer, McKay drove to the basket in the final seconds and missed to give the Broncos a win at home. 

“You have to be able to finish that play and make it even though you’re getting the contact,” Davis said.  

McKay led the Chippewas with a double-double, logging 18 points and 11 rebounds. Roundtree also scored 18 points. DiLeo chipped in 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. 

“This group gave it everything they had,” Davis said. 

CMU continues its season on the road at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 against Toledo at Savage Arena.