Chippewas Take Command Late To Claim Road Win

January 15, 2020 | Written By: Keno Davis

TOLEDO, Ohio -- The monkey is off the back.


Devontae Lane and Dallas Morgan combined to score 32 second-half points on Tuesday as Central Michigan topped Toledo, 74-67, in a Mid-American Conference men's basketball game at the Rockets' Savage Arena.
The win lifted CMU (10-7) to 3-1 in the MAC. It snapped a five-game losing streak against the Rockets and it was the Chippewas' first win in Toledo since Feb. 27, 2016.
It was also CMU's first road victory of the season.
"Getting that first road victory is important," CMU coach Keno Davis said. "We've been there, we know we're good enough to win the road but sometimes it's a mental block that you have to able to break through just to show that you can do it."
How It Happened
Down 59-53 with under eight minutes to play, the Chippewas went on a 17-2 run beginning with a Lane layup with 7:30 to play and ending with a Lane free throw with 1:13 remaining that left the Chippewas up, 70-61.
CMU held Toledo scoreless for a near five-minute stretch during its take-control spurt.
"I think our depth and the pace we played with gave us an advantage," Davis said. "We felt that if the game was close coming to the last four or five minutes that we had a great chance because of what we do and how we do it.
"For being on the road, our composure and effort was probably better than it's been all year and that's exciting moving forward."
Individual Stats
Morgan scored 20 of his 22 points and Lane had 12 of his 16 in the second half. They accounted for nearly all of the after-halftime Chippewa points as CMU outscored the Rockets, 36-26, over the final 20 minutes.
David DiLeo added 16 points – all in the first half -- for the Chippewas.
Rob Montgomery hauled down a career-high 11 rebounds as the Chippewas finished with a 41-35 edge on the boards.
Key Stat
The Chippewas limited Toledo to just two 3-pointers on nine attempts over the final 20 minutes. The Rockets made nine of their 17 3-point tries in the first half en route to a 41-38 lead at the break.
"Great effort on the defensive end in the second half," Davis said. "Really proud of our guys. And the execution – it wasn't anything X and O wise that you would exactly draw up; (it was) trying to get mismatches, trying to get shots, trying to be able to penetrate and not turn the ball over."
Big Win
It was an important victory on several fronts for the Chippewas, not the least of which is that it keeps them tied for first place with Ball State in the MAC West.
"If you had told me (we'd be) 3-1, I think just about anybody in the conference would take that," Davis said. "Getting a win on the road and against such a quality opponent, I think we have to really celebrate and acknowledge every win that you get this year during this conference because there is nobody that you would look ahead and say, 'Oh that's a win. You don't have to play well in that game, you're going to win that game.'
"It's so equal this year that you should celebrate every win and acknowledge that you did a lot and then try to get better as you go forward."
CMU will return to McGuirk Arena on Saturday (2 p.m.) to play Buffalo, which is 11-6, 2-2, after a 76-73 win over Ohio on Tuesday. The Bulls have won four of the last five MAC Tournament championships.

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