CMU men's basketball falls to Ohio State

Central Michigan's men's basketball head coach Tony Barbee, left, talks to a referee during a game against Louisiana-Monroe, Saturday, Nov. 11 in McGuirk Arena. This is Barbee's third season with CMU. (Marie Underwood | CM-Life)

With 6:35 remaining in the first and Central Michigan within one point of Ohio State, it looked like the Chippewas were in for a fight till the end. 

That was until OSU went on a 15-0 scoring run giving the Buckeyes a big lead at the half.

The score was 41-29 at the break; Ohio State continued to build on its lead in the second half. CMU wound up losing the game in a final score of 88-61.

The Chippewas have now dropped two straight, bringing them to 2-5 overall on the season, with three of its five losses against power five opponents.

The Chippewas couldn’t seem to stop the OSU offense from scoring especially sophomore guard Bruce Thornton. He leads the team with 17.2 points per game this season and added to his average in the matchup.

Thornton had 25 points and 64 percent (9-14) shooting, in a game where he was the leading scorer for either team and the only player to score 20.

The Chippewas came into the game missing two of its starters, sophomore guard Aidan Rubio and junior forward Markus Harding, due to injury.

Missing two starters, the Chippewas shot 40 percent (22-55) from the field as a team but only made six three-pointers in the contest. 

Junior forward Jemal Davis led the Chippewas in scoring with 15 points, which was a season high for him while he added a block and a steal.

It was a homecoming for one Chippewa, as sophomore guard Paul McMillan IV recorded a season high 12 points on 55 percent (5-9) shooting. 

For McMillan IV it wasn’t anything new for him, as he has the sixth most points and sits just one spot ahead of Lebron James on the Ohio high school boys’ basketball all-time scoring list.

Yet again, the Chippewas struggled from the free throw line, shooting only 55 percent (11-20) during the game. This puts CMU at 65 percent from the line this season putting the Chippewas as the 288 worst free throwing team in the NCAA.

Comparably Ohio State shot at an 82 percent (19-23) clip. 

Another area the Chippewas struggled was on the boards. CMU was out rebounded 44-30 by the Buckeyes. OSU had six more offensive boards and eight more defensive rebounds than the Chippewas.

Bench play has been a struggle for CMU this season, but the bench produced much more in this matchup. The Chippewas had three bench players combine for 29 of the teams’ 61 points. Two of them being McMillian IV and Davis but the other was freshman Shaedon Simpson.

Simpson played a career-high in minutes, with 27 which is more than double the number of minutes he had played in a game this season.

Central Michigan will look to get back in the win column when it welcomes Valparaiso at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to McGuirk Arena.