CMU mens basketball snaps three game losing streak with victory over Miami (Ohio)
With thirty-four seconds left in the game and one second on the shot clock, Central Michigan men's basketball freshman guard Reggie Bass drove towards the basket taking a shot, capturing a 62-60 lead helping lead to the 66-60 victory for the Chippewas against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday.
“Proud of the way the guys competed today from start to finish,” head coach Tony Barbee said. “We were down 14 but there was still no quit. They kept fighting for each other.”
CMU moves to 9-16 overall and 4-8 in the Mid-American Conference. The RedHawks fall to 8-17 overall and 2-10 in the MAC.
"We just gotta take it one at a time," Barbee said. "Guys have got to get better, with Jesse Zarzuela, Boopie (Kevin Miller) and Emil (Skytta) being out for us, other guys have got to get better ... I thought Miro (Miroslav Stafl) was a big presence for us today and I thought Nico (Nicolas Pavrette) was a big presence. It can't just be on our guards to make all the plays. Our big guys have to contribute to us winning or losing."
Following a three-point jumper from senior guard Brian Taylor, the Chippewas went on an 5-1 run taking a 5-3 lead early in the first quarter. Quickly, the Redhawks went on a 9-3 run of their own, taking the lead with a score of 12-8 with 13 minutes left in the first half. After two minutes of neither team scoring a basket, a layup from Taylor tied the game at 12 with 11:36 left in the first half.
Taylor led CMU with 22 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.
The Redhawks went on a 7-0 run to take a 19-12 lead with 7:48 left in the half. The Chippewas cut the lead to five after Taylor was fouled and sent to the free throw line. Back-to-back steals from CMU led to three straight points for the Chippewas cutting the Redhawks lead to 30-25 heading into the locker room.
Two minutes into the final half, the Redhawks came out of the locker room with all of the momentum, taking a 12-point lead, making the score 44-32.
The Chippewas took advantage of the Redhawks top scorers fouling out as they cut Miami's lead to four with five minutes left in the game going on a 11-2 run including back-to-back baskets from Taylor, free throws from Stafl and a three-point jumper from Bass.
CMU was just two shy of a season high free throws made as they went 22 for 35 at the free throw line.
“We are a good free throw shooting team,” Barbee said. “I talk to the guys all the time, ‘I want you to be selfish in a few areas. One of them is rebounding and when you get the foul, be selfish, make every one, nobody's on you.'”
An out of bounds ball resulted in the Chippewas regaining possession with 2:35 left in the game. After trailing in the second half by as many as 14, Taylor took a 59-58 lead for the Chippewas after he was fouled and sent to the line, but the Bobcats were quick to tie it on the other end.
With 34 seconds left, the Chippewas and Redhawks were tied at 60. Bass scored his first two of six consecutive points to put CMU up 66-60 and with no time left on the clock the Chippewas secured their first MAC road win.
CMU will continue on the road on Tuesday at 7 p.m. as they head to Bowling Green, Ohio to take on the Falcons.