Chippewa Men Hang On, Win MAC Opener

January 7, 2019 | Written By: Mitch Vosburg

OXFORD, Ohio -- Junior Rob Montgomery scored a career-high 18 points and the Central Michigan men's basketball team overcame a subpar free-throw shooting performance in holding off Miami (Ohio), 84-77, on Saturday in the Chippewas' Mid-American Conference opener. 
 
It was the sixth-straight victory for CMU (12-2). The RedHawks are 8-6.
 
"It's tough to get road wins," CMU coach Keno Davis said. "This year, if you win at home, on the road, any team you play, you'd better celebrate and enjoy it because there are not any games on the entire schedule well you say, 'We should win that.'
 
"We're still far from a finished product. We made a lot of mistakes out there, but you wouldn't know it after one play," said coach Keno Davis. "It didn't matter if we missed free throws or missed execution, we just came back with confidence to make plays and made enough of them down the stretch to get a road win in a place CMU hasn't won very often definitely is a little more rewarding maybe than any other game.
 
"When you make mistakes and still get a win, especially on the road, it makes you feel good about your team and about your program."
 
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Chippewas led for almost the entire game and were up by as many as 12 points, 65-53, with under nine minutes to play after back-to-back Matt Beachler 3-pointers.
 
The RedHawks, however, kept coming and were within four, 68-64, when David DiLeo triggered a 6-0 run with a jumper. The Chippewas led by 10, 74-64, with less than three minutes left and held on down the stretch despite finishing the game just 14-for-28 (50 percent) from the free throw line.
 
LEADERS
Shawn Roundtree Jr. added 15 points, DiLeo had 11, and Beachler and Larry Austin Jr. added 10 each. Roundtree finished with seven assists.
 
Austin and Montgomery finished with nine rebounds apiece as the Chippewas outrebounded the RedHawks, 42-36.
 
Miami's Dalonte Brown scored a game-high 22 points, while Nike Sibande, the reigning MAC Freshman of the Year added 17. Jalen Adaway led Miami with 13 rebounds.
 
NEXT
The Chippewas play host to Akron on Tuesday (7 p.m.) at McGuirk Arena. The Zips (9-5) downed Western Michigan, 56-48, on Saturday in their MAC opener.
 

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CMU Captures Junkanoo Jam Crown with Win Over SJSU

November 26, 2018 | Written By: Mitch Vosburg

BIMINI, Bahamas - Shawn Roundtree Jr.'s runner in the lane with four seconds remaining lifted Central Michigan to a thrilling 76-74 victory over San Jose State Sunday in Bimini, Bahamas.

With Cal State Bakersfield's win over Weber State in the ensuing tournament finale, CMU was crowned champion of the 2018 Junkanoo Jam. Central Michigan, Weber State and CSUB all finished tournament play 2-1, but it was the Chippewas' 12-point win over in the opener that was the deciding factor. CMU has captured preseason tournament championship in consecutive seasons after winning the Great Alaska Shootout in 2017.

The Chippewas forced 20 turnovers, including tallying 13 steals, while shooting 47 percent from the field, 15-of-30 in the second half, but finished 7-of-30 from beyond the arc.

"We understand some nights shots aren't falling and the other team is making plays," said head coach Keno Davis. "We made enough plays down the stretch, our pressure was big and our guys seemed to have that attitude and confidence that they were going to win a game coming off the heels of a last second loss."

The Spartans shot 51 percent from the floor and 44 percent from three, including 5-of-10 in the first half.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Spartans shot 58 percent from the field in the first half, including 5-of-10 from the 3-point line, but the Chippewas trailed by only four points going into intermission. Kevin McKay lead CMU with 12 points and four rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. Craig Lecesne scored 11 points on four-of-four shooting for the Spartans.

The Chippewas opened a 50-48 lead in the second half, but a 12-0 Spartan run put CMU in a 10-point deficit. The Chippewas clawed their way back to tie the game 69-69 with 2:15 remaining, setting the stage for a back-and-forth finale.

With the game tied 74-74, Roundtree Jr. took the game into his own hands, dropping in a running floater to provide the Chippewas a 76-74 lead. San Jose State attempted a hail mary on the ensuing in-bounds but Larry Austin Jr. intercepted it at the free throw line, securing CMU's fourth victory of the season.

LEADERS
McKay lead CMU with 24 points, 12 rebounds and four steals, shooting 11-of-17 from the floor. The double-double was the sixth of his career, tied with David DiLeo for most among active Chippewas. Roundtree Jr. added 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while Austin Jr. contributed 15 points.

TURNING DOWN 3'S
Davis said the Chippewas found offensive success late in the game by passing up 3-point opportunities, leaning on driving to the basket instead.

"We have to be able to learn that when the (3-point) shots aren't falling we can score at the basket, score in the post, score off the dribble," Davis said. "I thought late in the game we did a good job of attacking the basket."
 

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2017-2018 Season Review

April 2, 2018 | Written By: Central Michigan Sports Information

2017-18 Men's Basketball Season in Review
CMU secured the seventh 20-win season in program history, including the second in the last four seasons under Keno Davis

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March 28, 2018

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Central Michigan men's basketball team's 2017-18 season was, by many counts, a successful one, as the Chippewas' surpassed prevailing expectations and advanced the program, further placing it in a positive position.

"I am very proud of what our team, and especially what our seniors were able to accomplish during their time here at CMU," said head coach Keno Davis. "This team has helped move this program to one that has demonstrated consistent success on the court, while representing their school, Alumni, and community in the highest manner possible."

The accomplishments of the 2017-18 Chippewas were many, noteworthy and even historic:

• Central Michigan secured the seventh 20-win season in program history, including the second in the last four seasons under Keno Davis.

• Central Michigan finished with a .500 record or better for the fourth consecutive year, marking the longest such stretch of success since the 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons.

• Central Michigan won two postseason games for the first time in history as a Division I program.

• Central Michigan won its first national postseason victory, a 94-89 victory over Fort Wayne in the first round of the CIT, since March 20, 2003 when the No. 11-seeded Chippewas upset No. 6 Creighton, 79-73, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City

• With CMU's first round MAC Tournament win over Bowling Green, head coach Keno Davis moved into fourth place on the Central Michigan career wins list.

• CMU recorded double-digit wins at home for the fourth consecutive year, totaling 50 during that time frame. CMU went 11-5 in McGuirk Arena in 2017-18.

• Central Michigan set a single-season program record for nonconference victories with 11.

• Central Michigan became the first and only Mid-American Conference team to ever win a Great Alaska Shootout title in the 40th and final edition of the historic early-season tournament.

• For the second-straight season, Central Michigan broke the program record for points in a season, scoring 2,835.

• Central Michigan ranked No. 2 in the nation in free throw percentage for the second consecutive year with a program-record mark of .806. It is only one of three teams in the NCAA to shoot 80 percent or better from the line in 2017-18. Sophomore guard Kevin McKay led the MAC in free throw percentage (.861). The Chippewas were perfect from the line against Wofford for just the fourth time program history, going 15-for-15.

• With 356 this season, Central Michigan has made 300 or more 3-pointers for the fourth consecutive year. The Chippewas led the MAC 3-point field goals made with a 9.9 per game average. Only two other Division I teams have made more 3-pointers than CMU over the past four seasons.

• By scoring over 100 points three times this season, CMU surpassed the century mark in 17 games under head coach Keno Davis.

• Senior guard Josh Kozinski became CMU's career leader in 3-pointers, marking the third player in three years that the record has been broken. Kozinski also became the first player in program history make 300 3-pointers and the 32nd Chippewa to reach the 1,000-point milestone.

• Kozinski ranked No. 1 in the nation in turnover percentage (3.5) for the third consecutive season. He also ranks second among all NCAA players since 2007-08 in that stat category (2.86).

• Sophomore guard Kevin McKay's 62 steals ranked tied for No. 2 in the Central Michigan single season record book. He recorded at least one steal in 30 of the 34 games in which he played this season.

• Sophomore forward David DiLeo's 96 3-pointers led the MAC and ranked third on the CMU single-season list.

• Senior forward Luke Meyer started every game of his collegiate career, a streak that measured 133 consecutive games. In 2017-18, Meyer set career highs in points, blocks, assists, free throw percentage and 3-pointers.

• Four different Chippewas earned MAC West Player of the Week honors during the 2017-18 season -- Shawn Roundtree Jr. (11/27), David DiLeo (12/24), Luke Meyer (1/22) and Cecil Williams (2/5).

• Junior guard Shawn Roundtree Jr. was named Most Outstanding Player of the Great Alaska Shootout while Luke Meyer and Cecil Williams were named to the all-tournament team.

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