Men's Basketball clobbered by No. 9 Kentucky

Junior guard Brian Taylor goes for a layup on Fri. November 5 in McGuirk Arena.

Returning to his old stomping grounds, Central Michigan men’s head basketball coach Tony Barbee took the Chippewas to battle No. 9 Kentucky . 

CMU fell to the Wildcats 85-57 at Rupp arena in Lexington, KY on Monday.

“I thought we did a better job of controlling the pace in the second half and a better job of scrapping and fighting,” Barbee said. “I thought we had a nervous start, and we just coughed the ball up but then we settled down and got into our rhythm.”

CMU falls to 1-5 on the season and Kentucky progresses to 6-1. 

How it Happened 

CMU started off matching the intensity of the Wildcats staying within 6 points. Eventually, Kentucky brought the heat and took over the court. Wildcats junior guard Sahvir Wheeler earned a steal and took it all the way to the hoop for two, putting the Wildcats up 25-5. 

Kentucky never looked back as they increased to a lead of 33 in the middle of the first half. Despite a massive hole in front of them, the Chippewas refused to tap out.  

With time ticking the Wildcats offense temporarily fading, CMU found a chance to find some momentum as sophomore guard Aundre Polk slammed home a wide-open dunk. With four minutes remaining in the first half, the Chippewas were sent to the free throw line for the first time of the game trailing 45-17.

With Kentucky being in control coming out of the half, Cameron Healy came out firing with a 3-pointer for CMU to draw first blood in the final 20 minutes. The Chippewas continued to put up points on the board, but not as quickly as the Wildcats as they fell 85-57, losing to another top 10 team.

Key Performers 

Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe had a game-best 20 points and 16 rebounds.

Jackson led the Chippewas with 11 points and 5 assists for his first start of the season. Healy also had his first start and finished with nine points. Junior forward Miroslav Stafl also finished with nine points after missing four games. 

Key Stats

The Wildcats shot 52.6 percent from the floor in the first half and 43.1 percent overall. In the second half CMU earned 18 points in the paint to Kentucky's 14. 

The Chippewas have had at least 10 turnovers in their last five games. 

What’s Next

The Chippewas finish their seven-game road trip at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Cincinnati to take on Xavier.