Playing the final game of a five game road trip to start the season, CMU ended it the way they started, with a victory. The Chippewas finally had a more balanced scoring attack, taking the lead with nearly five minutes left in the opening half, and never relinquishing it. With the win, CMU improves to 2-3 on the season.
Central came out of the gate struggling, trailing by as much as 6 points early on, but outscored the Flames 22-9 the remainder of the first half, to take a 28-21 lead into the second half.
From there, it was all CMU as they opened the 2nd half on a tear, and built their lead up to as many as 16. The Chippewas were able to coast the remainder of the way, and picked up their 2nd win of the season 62-52.
Finally CMU had a balanced scoring attack, with three players getting into double figures. Once again Trey Zeigler lead the way with a game high 17 points, as well as 7 rebounds. Jalin Thomas was strong again, scoring 13 points.
But the biggest factor, was the player I pointed out in the game preview earlier today, William McClure. He had a dominating game, scoring 12 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and also recording 2 blocked shots. In the best two games of the season that McClure has played, the Chippewas have won. I have said it before, but McClure is the key to this team’s success.
The biggest key tonight for the Chippewas, in addition to getting a more balanced offensive attack, was shutting down the Flames duo of Robo Kreps and Paul Carter. Kreps came into the contest averaging 20 points per game, but the Chippewas were able to hold him to 14. The Central defense frustrated Carter all night long, holding him to 10 points, 7 below his average coming in, on 1-7 shooting from the floor.
Central shot 47% for the game, while limiting the Flames to 32.3% from the floor. The Chippewas also controlled the rebounding edge 37-34.
I would say that this was the most complete game that Central has played all season. Very good on defense limiting the Flames two best players, and holding them a very low shooting percentage. Getting scoring from the post, and players other than Zeigler and Thomas was also a very nice surprise.
This was a big win for CMU, having lost three straight close games, it was nice confidence boost for this young team to pick up a good road win, against a team with a winning record, and gives the team momentum as they come back to Mt. Pleasant to take on nationally ranked Temple, in the grand re-opening of the CMU Events Center and McGuirk Arena.
That game is scheduled for next Wednesday, December 1 at 7pm. And according to cmuchippewas.com, tickets are sold out.