Rayson scores 27 points en route to CMU’s first road win
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — After scoring 27 points in the Central Michigan men’s basketball team’s 79-67 win over Bowling Green, junior guard Braylon Rayson tweeted out his motivation.
“This one was for my granny who passed away right before the game,” Rayson tweeted.
The Dallas, Texas native has said many times he knows he's going to be hot if he can knock down his first shot.
Rayson knocked down a deep 3-pointer 37 seconds into the game on his first touch. Rayson had seven of CMU’s nine points by the 17:45 mark in the first half.
Despite the offensive success, Rayson credited the team defense for the victory — after allowing 99 points in a loss to Eastern Michigan on Wednesday. He called his team’s preparation for Saturday’s game “Unbelievable.”
“We knew we were going to have to come out here and basically just play our balls out,” Rayson said. “We know scoring is going to be our strong suit, we know defense is our weakness.”
CMU finished with six steals and three blocks while outrebounding the Falcons 34-32. BGSU shot 42.1 percent from the field.
“I don’t think we were nearly as bad defensively as it might have looked in the Eastern Michigan game and I don’t think we necessarily have all the answers because we had one good game,” said Head Coach Keno Davis. “We’re a work in progress, defensively. If we can have that kind of effort, I think we’ll really improve as a team as the conference season goes on.”
The starters played 173 of the team’s 200 minutes in the game and scored 76 of CMU’s 79 points.
Senior guards Rayshawn Simmons and Chris Fowler had 17 and 14 points respectively while senior forward John Simons finished with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
BGSU never had a lead in the second half. Davis said Rayson's 3-pointers kept the Falcons at bay, which was key.
"Even on nights where he hasn’t knocked down shots, I don’t think his confidence wavers very much," Davis said. "We know he can put points up in a hurry."
The Chippewas (8-7, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) come home to face the MAC East Division favorites, the Akron Zips, before hitting the road for a pair of long road trips to Buffalo and Northern Illinois.
Rayson said the win gives the team confidence heading into Tuesday's game while Davis said it's difficult to measure teams' success at this point of the season.
“It’s tough off of one game to know where you measure up against the team that has looked the best in the nonconference part of the schedule," Davis said.”
The Zips are 13-2 overall and 2-0 in the MAC. They beat CMU in the only meeting between the teams last year Jan. 17 at Akron 82-76.