Second half offensive surge guides men's basketball to first road win

Senior guard Larry Austin Jr. takes the ball up court against Siena Heights on Nov. 25 at McGuirk Arena.

After outscoring the Sam Houston State 51-26 in the second half, the Central Michigan men's basketball team got their first road win of the season. 

After trailing 39-30 at the break, CMU won by a final of 81-56 over the Bearkats for its first true road win of the season.

“We’re going to look back at this game and see (SHSU) doesn’t lose many games in this building,” said head coach Keno Davis. “With just one good half of basketball, we can’t downplay how important this was for us.”

The Chippewas (6-1) are now on a three-game winning streak. They shot 60 percent (6-of-10) from deep in the second half and 63.6 percent from the field. They held SHSU to 28.1 percent shooting from the field and 25 percent (4-of-16) from beyond the arc.

How it happened

SHSU opened the game finding a lot of success against the CMU defense. They started shooting 4-of-5 from the field and posted a 9-6 lead.

Led by a junior guard Kevin McKay 3-pointer and pair of senior guard Shawn Roundtree free throws CMU took its first lead of the game at 21-20 with eight minutes left in the first half.

By halftime, the Bearkats built a 39-30 advantage. After a slow start in the opening minutes of the second half, CMU went on an offensive surge.

Capped off by a McKay triple, CMU went on a 10-3 run to pull within three points with 15:05 left in the half. CMU didn’t stop there.

CMU would continue to shut down the SHSU offense, holding them to just 11 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Meanwhile, CMU kept building its lead until it was its largest lead of the night at 70-56 with 4:47 left to play.

The Bearkats never got back within single digits of the CMU lead. The Chippewas scored more points in the first 13 minutes (31 points) of the second half than the entire first half.

“We wore them down,” Davis said. “We moved the ball and ran a better offense. We got movement on the weak side to get the defense moving and finish inside with good angles.”

Austin led the team with 23 points while adding seven assists and six rebounds. McKay totaled 18 points, Roundtree added 14 of his own and junior forward David DiLeo scored 10 points, all of which came in the second half.

The Chippewas will be back in action in two days when they play Texas Christian University on Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. from Schollmaier Arena. 

Game notes

  • In the Bearkats last 33 home games, they have only lost three games including the loss to CMU tonight.
  • CMU outscored SHSU 30-18 in the paint and got 10 second chance points to just four from the Bearkats. 
  • The Chippewas gave up 17 turnovers and only forced 15, but scored 17 points after their turnovers forced compared to just nine for SHSU.