CMU mens basketball falls to Minnesota
After being down 10 points just five minutes into the game, sophomore guard Kevin Miller cut Minnesota's lead to two from beyond the arc as Central Michigan basketball went on an 8-0 run.
However, failure to capitalize under the basket in the second half, hurt the Chippewas as they fell to the Gophers 68-60 on Thursday.
The Chippewas are now 1-2 on the season, while the Gophers improve to 3-1.
“Guys got to play with confidence,” said head coach Tony Barbee. “I mean, you get open, we had open shot after open shot, and we missed them, there will be nights like that. And I talked about it all the time, but your offense isn't necessarily always going to travel on the road.”
Off to a slow start, CMU wouldn’t get on the board until two minutes into the game.
With Miller scoring 11 of the Chippewas 16 points, CMU began to find its footing on the floor. Miller led the Chippewas with 19 points and seven rebounds.
Getting out to a fast start in the second half, the Gophers went on a 6-0 run putting CMU down by 10. Failing to answer back in a timely manner, the game began to slip out of the Chippewas hands.
"There were too many lapses that let the game just slightly get away where now it becomes a 10, 12, 14-point game and it's hard to overcome that,” Barbee said. “Even though the guys kept fighting I'm proud of them. We have got to be more diligent and tough. And even when our shots are falling, we still gotta defend the rebound and do those little things.”
Providing a spark for CMU, senior center Miroslav Stafl came in scoring the first six points of the half for CMU. Stafl ended the night with eight points, five rebounds, and one block.
With time ticking down, senior guard Brian Taylor and junior guard Jesse Zarzuela found themselves in foul trouble. While Stafl and junior forward Carrington McCaskill had fouled out.
Zarzuela had 15 points, four rebounds and two steals. McCaskill finished with four points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
In an attempt to come back, the Chippewas went on a 9-2 run to cut the Gophers lead to nine with three minutes left in the game. However CMU couldn’t contain Minnesota in the final minutes as they fell 68-60.
“I mean, we're all obviously disappointed about the loss because we thought that was a game we could get and we competed hard tonight,” Barbee said. “We got a general rule you got 24 hours to mourn a loss and 24 hours to celebrate one so we're going to look at the tape, learn from our mistakes, see what we did well.”
The Chippewas head to San Juan Capistrano, California to face High Point University in the SoCal Challenge on Monday at 5:30 p.m.