Men's hoops trampled by Broncos, drop MAC opener
KALAMAZOO -- Despite owning a record of 59-98 against arch-rival Western Michigan, CMU men’s basketball had emerged victorious in the six previous matchups against the Broncos.
The streak failed to reach seven.
WMU knocked off CMU 76-61 at Read Fieldhouse on Friday in the 158th meeting of the in-state foes.
The Chippewas fell to 3-4 while dropping their first Mid-American Conference opener since the 2016-17 season, an 85-63 loss to Eastern Michigan. The Broncos improve to 2-4.
Head coach Keno Davis said it’s hard to find positives after a loss like Friday’s.
“We weren’t able to stop (WMU), we weren’t able to score and we weren’t able to rebound like we have so far this year,” Davis said. “You look up at the clock with 2 to 3 minutes left down by six or seven points and know that if we can make some slight improvements, we know that it will show up in the scoreboard. With the conference schedule under way earlier than normal we have to try and adjust as quickly as we can.”
Davis also said that Friday’s matchup with the Broncos was the most physical conference basketball game he has coached since taking the helm at CMU, noting the pushing and shoving that a rivalry game presents.
“I’ve never seen anything like that and the way it was called,” Davis said. “Our guys didn’t adapt and adjust as well as (WMU) did. I got frustrated, our players got frustrated, and we need to better.”
CMU opened the game shooting 4-of-16 from the field and making one of six attempts from beyond the arc. The Chippewas finished the opening 20 minutes shooting 8-of-26 from the floor, 2-of-8 from 3-point range and committed nine turnovers while trailing 33-23 at halftime.
WMU extended its lead to 20 points in the second stanza. A Matt Beachler 3-pointer sparked a 10-0 CMU run to pull within 10 points with 10:35 remaining. CMU pulled within eight points with under five minutes to go, but the Broncos proved to be too much.
CMU finished the game 22-of-63 from the floor, 5-of-19 from downtown and committed 11 turnovers. The Broncos finished 30-of-54 from the field, 8-of-18 from beyond the arc and outrebounded the Chippewas 37-30.
Junior forward Meikkel Murray led all scorers with 18 points while finishing 6-of-15 from the floor. Senior guards Devontae Lane and Travon Broadway Jr. added 13 points each.
Greg Lee scored a team-high 17 points for the Broncos while adding a game-best 11 rebounds.
CMU hosts Olivet College Sunday at 1 p.m. and resumes MAC play Dec. 29 against EMU in Ypsilanti.