DiLeo’s free throws gives men’s basketball double-overtime win, 101-98


Sophomore forward David DiLeo attempts to shoot a basket during the basketball game against Tennessee Tech on Dec. 9 at McGuirk Arena. 

One month after Central Michigan men's basketball beat Ohio the first time, sophomore guard David DiLeo gave the Chippewas a victory in Ypsilanti with three free throws in double-overtime. 

The Chippewas (15-8, 4-6 MAC) downed the Bobcats (9-13, 2-8 MAC) in double-overtime, 101-98, on Feb. 3 at the Convocation Center. 

“It’s one of those games where you enjoy,” said CMU head coach Keno Davis. “We weren’t the better team tonight, but we made one more play in a 50-minute game to be able to come out with a victory.

Davis was forced to call a 30-second timeout with 18:15 left in the first half due to Ohio’s 10-0 run to start the game. 

Out of the timeout, senior forward Luke Meyer pulled down an offensive rebound and scored for CMU’s first points of the game, cutting Ohio’s edge to 10-2. 

Meyer went on to score CMU’s first eight points of the game, pulling the Chippewas to a six-point deficit with 14:23 remaining before halftime. Meyer finished the game with 14 points and went three-of-six from the 3-point line.

With 9:32 left in the first half, CMU senior forward Cecil Williams buried a 3-pointer to tie the game against Ohio, 19-19.

In the final seconds of the first half, sophomore guard Kevin McKay blocked Ohio sophomore guard James Gollon at the buzzer. At the half, Ohio held a 36-31 lead on 52 percent shooting from the field. 

To start the second half, Ohio went on a 7-2 run, taking a 43-33 lead. 

After being bailed out on a late call with 1:26 remaining, CMU junior guard Shawn Roundtree made two-of-two from the free throw line, cutting its deficit to two points.

McKay earned an offensive rebound on a 3-point miss from Roundtree and found the bottom of the basket, tying the game, 77-77, with 29 second left. 

A controversial block was called on DiLeo, allowing Mike Laster to take an opportunity to win the game at the free throw line with five seconds remaining. 

Laster missed both, taking the game to overtime. 

Ohio scored the first four points of overtime on back-to-back buckets by junior forward Doug Taylor and junior guard Gavin Block inside, taking an 81-77 lead. Taylor earned a double-double with 14 pionts and 10 rebounds. 

As his foot was on the 3-point line, Williams dropped in a long jumper, tying things up, 86-86, with 38 seconds left in overtime.

Following a 3-point make by Laster, Williams responded with a triple of his own. Once again, the Chippewas and Bobcats were tied at 89. Laster finished the game with 24 points on four-of-seven shooting from downtown. 

With 3:40 left in double-overtime, Williams made two free throws, giving CMU its first lead of the game, 91-89. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward led the Chippewas with 27 points and six rebounds. 

Going one-of-two from the free throw line, Meyer earned CMU a 97-96 lead with 1:22 remaining in double-overtime. 

DiLeo, with 0.9 seconds left, drew a foul on a 3-point jumper. He went three-of-three from the charity stripe, pushing CMU to a 101-98 victory. 

“It’s something we are working on,” Davis said. “When Villanova won the national championship, they had 45 pump fakes. He got the guy in the air, takes a hit, and it is game over. It was nice to have him make the play when needed.”

Against CMU, Ohio was without junior guard Jordan Datris and senior forward Kevin Mickle, who combine to average 21.5 points per game for the Bobcats. 

In the three-point loss, the Bobcats were led by Teyvion Kirk, who logged 24 points, six rebounds, and two assists. 

CMU returns to Mount Pleasant at 7 p.m. on Feb. 6 for a battle against Buffalo at McGuirk Arena. 

“We are going back to the practice court tomorrow, but it’ll be pretty light,” Davis said. “We have the best team in the conference coming into our place and it should be exciting.”