CMU unable to hang with potent Bowling Green offense, falls 90-69
When Central Michigan's men's basketball team took the court Jan. 5, it wanted to replicate a season-best effort it put out against rival Eastern Michigan. In similar fashion, CMU's opponent, Bowling Green, was looking to copy what it had done against its first three Mid-American Conference opponents and stay unbeaten.
And while the Chippewas fought closely for most of the first half, the depth of the Falcons was too much for CMU to overcome. Playing without starting freshman forward Aundre Polk, CMU fell to Bowling Green 90-69 Jan. 5 at the Stroh Center.
Both teams sprinted out of the gate offensively. Falcon junior guard Caleb Fields opened the scoring with a corner 3-pointer and redshirt sophomore forward Dylan Swingle converted a pair of early opportunities in the paint. On the other side, senior Chippewa guard Travon Broadway Jr. scored six early points and junior wing Meikkel Murray created offense with his defense.
However, the Falcons (8-2, 4-0 MAC) figured out the CMU (5-5, 1-2) scheme midway through the first half. Chippewa senior guard Devontae Lane returned from a brief absence after sustaining a cut to his face to convert a short jumper, cutting the Chippewa deficit to just a point. However, the Falcons would follow that with a 13-2 run to push the lead to double figures.
CMU was able to get within 10 thanks to baskets from Murray and junior guard Caleb Huffman. Fields finished at the rim late in the first half, and Lane answered with another short jumper to keep the Chippewa deficit at just 10 points as the teams went to the locker room as Bowling Green led 46-36.
Swingle opened the second half with a second-chance bucket, and Broadway followed with a layup to keep the deficit at 10. Senior guard Justin Turner, who moved into sole possession of fourth place on Bowling Green's all-time scoring rankings, knocked down a jumper following a Fields 3-pointer to push his team's lead to 15.
The Falcons continued to tack on points while holding the Chippewas scoreless for four minutes. Senior forward Daeqwon Plowden scored to push the lead to 61-41 but junior Chippewa guard Matt Beachler stopped the scoreless drought with a 3-pointer.
Redshirt freshman center Caleb Hodgson, playing in his first game since the Dec. 2 game at Flagler College, knocked down his first career 3-pointer in the second half and finished with five points. With Polk unable to play due to an undisclosed injury, Hodgson backed up starter Malik Muhammad, who finished the game with 10 rebounds.
Murray led the Chippewas with 16 points. Broadway Jr. and Huffman each scored 13 points. Freshman guard Ra'Shad Weekly-McDaniels also added four points in six minutes.
Turner finished with a game-high 17 points and seven assists for the Falcons. Fields added 13 on 3-for-4 shooting from beyond the arc, and Young finished with 12 points. The trio was part of seven Falcons that scored in double figures.
The Falcons scored 24 points off of 15 Chippewa turnovers and never relinquished the lead. Bowling Green held a 48-42 advantage in the paint and the Falcons outrebounded the Chippewas 42-34.
The Chippewas will get another crack at the Falcons at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 9 in McGuirk Arena.