Morgan Heats Up; CMU Men Win MAC Opener

January 5, 2020 | Written By: Keno Davis

 

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Dallas Morgan scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and Rob Montgomeryposted his second career double-double on Saturday as the Central Michigan men's basketball team opened Mid-American Conference play with a 93-82 victory over Miami (Ohio) at McGuirk Arena.
 
The win snapped a four-game losing streak as the Chippewas improved to 8-6, 8-0 at home.
 
"I was really pleased that we were able to come away with a win," said CMU coach Keno Davis, whose team last played at home on Dec. 6, when it posted an 84-75 nonleague victory over UT Martin. "Coming off of not playing here in what seems like forever, it's nice to be able to get the win, start off conference play (1-0), and we'll get ready for Tuesday."
 
The Chippewas, who have won 71 of their last 90 games at McGuirk, play host to Northern Illinois in a MAC game on Tuesday, Jan. 7. The Huskies are 8-6 and upended two-time defending MAC Tournament champion Buffalo, 73-72, on Saturday.
 
How It Happened
Morgan hit all five of his second-half 3-point attempts in finishing five for seven from long range for the game. He was nine for 14 from the floor overall.
 
Morgan hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second half as the Chippewas finally put some space between themselves and the pesky RedHawks. Morgan's triple with 11:05 to play gave CMU a 66-55 lead, and another Morgan 3-pointer with 5:00 left put the Chippewas up 15, 80-65, their largest lead of the second half.
 
Miami never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
 
"First half, I came out and missed a few shots," Morgan said. "But then my teammates were telling me to stay confident and keep shooting the ball. Second half is a new half, and I just continued to do what I know how to do, which is to shoot the ball."
 
Team Stats 
The Chippewas needed all 15 of the 3-pointers they got because Miami was just as hot from long range. The RedHawks finished 13 of 25 (52 percent) from beyond the arc, while CMU was 15 of 29 (51.7 percent).
 
CMU's Devontae LaneTravon Broadway Jr. and David DiLeo each hit three 3-pointers. The trio combined with Morgan to make 14 of 23 (60.8 percent) from long range. DiLeo had 16 points, while Lane had 14, Kevin McKayadded 13.
 
Double-Double
Montgomery, a 6-foot-7 senior, scored 11 points and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds.
 
Miami's big men "were physical," Montgomery said. "They played hard. I just went there and played as hard as I could. I tried to dominate the paint. Our assistant coach, coach Chris Tifft, has been on me about owning the paint, wanting me to be down there, and be that guy that's in control down there."
 
Off to a Good Start
One win, Davis cautioned, does not a season make. Still, it's better to be 1-0 in league play than the alternative.
 
"It wouldn't have been the end if we started 0-1," Davis said. "There's a lot of games (left). But you know that every time you get a win, you should enjoy it and realize you've done something. It's nice coming off a layoff, as well as coming off a week of practice without a game, to able to start (conference) play with a victory, and to be able to hold serve on our home court."

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