Men's basketball tops Southern Utah for fourth home win

Junior forward Rob Montgomery catches a rebound to return possession to CMU on Dec. 8 at McGuirk Arena.

The lead was in favor of the home team for more than 37 minutes as the Central Michigan men's basketball team coasted to a 95-86 victory over Southern Utah. 

The win moved CMU (8-2) to their fifth win in the last six games. CMU is still undefeated at McGuirk Arena with a 4-0 record.

"Having seen Southern Utah out there they are a much better team even though they beat us last year," said head coach Keno Davis. "They are a much improved physical team that is going to win some games this year. We knew when watching tape we would have our hands full but I like the way we responded."

What happened

After a handful of sloppy possessions to open the game from both sides, senior guard Shawn Roundtree poured in a couple 3-pointers from the right wing to give CMU a 9-3 lead.

The Chippewas continued to force turnovers and score in transition with ease. Following a transfer forward Rob Montgomery layup on a fast break CMU led 19-9 with 12:42 left in the first half.

The CMU led 42-31 heading into the locker room at halftime. The Chippewas opened the second half by building on that lead.

Austin found a couple quick layups to send CMU into a timeout at the 7:25 mark with a 72-59 lead.

Southern Utah cut the lead back down to single digits inside two minutes, but couldn't find enough offense for a comeback as CMU rode out the clock to a victory. 

"It's not as important to get out to a big lead as it is to lock in better on the defensive end," Austin said. "This is a growing experience for us because when we get up big we seem to be lackadaisical. To become a good team we need to be a great team on the defensive end." 

Austin led the Chippewas with 20 points while DiLeo added 19 with five triples. McKay (16), Roundtree (14), Montgomery (11) and Beachler (10) also scored in double figures.

CMU won't play until 7 p.m. on Dec. 19 when the University of Missouri Kansas City comes to McGuirk Arena.