Men's basketball snaps losing streak at Miami (Ohio)
Great second half play for the Chippewas was as eye catching as their yellow jerseys in an important game.
At a pivotal point in the season, Central Michigan was able to reward its defense with an outpour of offense production in an 83-69 win against the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks.
CMU (7-19, 6-9) had its second 80 plus point performance of the season while Miami (12-16, 6-11), dropped their third in a row.
With only three games remaining for CMU, wins are essential. After this game the Chippewas remain in the No. 8 seed in the Mid-American Conference.
The Chippewas must remain in the top eight in the MAC standings to travel to Cleveland for the conference tournament.
The three-point shot defined the game, but CMU did a great job at doing all the “little things.” Defense and hustle don’t show up in the box score, but it was visible for all those in attendance.
The Chippewas shot 55.6% from the field and knocked down 13-24 threes, one shy of their season high. They held Miami to just 33.3% from the field, but the RedHawks did make 11 threes but at inefficient rate.
CMU freshman phenom Kevin Miller had another career night, scoring 24 points on 9-13 shooting to go with a near-perfect 6-of-7 from beyond the arc, six assists and four rebounds.
CMU wing Brian Taylor tied his season high of 15 points on 50% shooting, three assists and 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Similar play came from Chippewa forward Ralph Bissainthe as he added 17 points on 54.5% from the field, seven rebounds and three big deep shots.
Five Chippewas ended the night with double digits. It was by far one of the more efficient offensive performances by them this season.
The RedHawks primarily focused their scoring through senior Mekhi Lairy's 18 points and junior Dae Dae Grant's 16.
The first half was a promising start for CMU. The defense was rotating well in the zone, making it hard for Miami on the boards. But ultimately the RedHawks won the battle before halftime with a score of 37-33.
In the second half The RedHawks were everything but red with a six-minute stretch in the second half where they went scoreless. In that time the Chippewas were red-hot. They scored 17 unanswered giving them their largest lead of the game up 20 points.
The second half saw the Chippewas knock down 70.8% of their shots, adding eight threes and held Miami to a subpar 28.1% from the field.
CMU won the rebound battle 39-35 and outscored Miami in the paint 32-20.
The Chippewas come back home to face the three seed in the MAC in Kent State at 7 p.m. Saturday.