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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