Miller's double-double, Henderson's free throws send Chippewas to first home win
Coming off a win against Northern Illinois on Saturday, Central Michigan men's basketball returned home to McGuirk Arena looking for its first win at home this season.
The Chippewas (4-14, 3-3) took on Bowling Green (11-11, 4-7) on Tuesday in McGuirk. The Chippewas came out on top of the Falcons 78-74 in the final seconds.
“They are a group of fighters, doesn't mean they do everything perfect, but they are playing hard, they are playing unselfish and playing for each other and it's been what we have been working for so it's a pretty thing to watch,” said head coach Tony Barbee. “We had to fight and that's what is happening, it has started before these last two teams. That Toledo game we fought our tails off. They are a good team and they got away from us a little bit. It started a trend of how hard we are going to fight.”
The Chippewas found their footing midway through the first half, thanks in part to Cameron Healy finding momentum from beyond the arc. Healy made four of his six from beyond the arc in the first half. As soon as the Chippewas took momentum, the Falcons were right around the corner starting a back forth clash.
The Falcons went on a 11-2 run midway through the first, putting the Chippewas in a classic game of catch up. Efforts from multiple Chippewa players and many missed shots from the Falcons, brought them within one. The Chippewas pulled away from the Falcons by eight to end the first half.
Coming back from the half the Falcons brought themselves back in the game when the Chippewas lost their rhythm. The Falcons took the lead with a basket beyond the three-point range leading into a media timeout.
A Falcon turnover sent the Chippewas into a 12-0 run with seven minutes remaining in the half. The Falcons guard Myron Gordon got a hold of the ball repeatedly, shrinking the Chippewas lead. Gordon scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half.
Bowling Green took advantage of the Chippewas going scoreless in four minutes, going on a 5-0 run to bring itself within one. With less than five minutes to play the teams entered a back-and-forth collision for the remainder of play.
A charge on the Falcons Daeqwon Plowden, his fifth foul, sent Brian Taylor to the line giving CMU a 2-point lead. A split second later the Falcons tied it at 74 with 24 seconds left. A foul on the Chippewas put the Falcons on the line. Fans roared in the area as the Falcons missed their chance to take the lead.
Harrison Henderson hit two free throws with four seconds remaining to give the Chippewas the lead.
A tussle for the ball on the ensuing play resulted in a whistle blown and a foul on the Falcons. Thinking the game was over, the Falcons walked off the floor.
Michael Huger's group returned to the court with 1.3 seconds remaining, but CMU's Brian Taylor sunk two free throws to cement the Chippewa win.
The Chippewas high scorers were Cameron Healy and freshman Kevin Miller with a career high of 21 points. Miller had 12 assists and seven rebounds to notch his first career double-double. Ralph Bissainthe had seven rebounds; he now has reached 101 rebounds this season.
The Falcons leading scorer Gordon not only brought Bowling Green back in the game but also scored a game high of 24 points. Plowden had 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Chippewas will face rivals Western Michigan on Thursday at 7 p.m. in McGuirk.