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2017 MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: Toledo Rockets at Central Michigan Chippewas

Central Michigan jumped to an early lead, and kept it the rest of the game.

NCAA Basketball: Central Michigan at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

The Central Michigan Chippewas started the game hot. They jumped out to a 10-0 lead, and pretty much kept it that way the entire game. We all have regret, we all wish we could go back in time and change things. Obviously, if I, or anyone else in the world could do that, it probably wouldn’t have anything to do with this basketball game. If we did, however, we would have erased that 10 point early lead.

It would have been a back and forth affair where the teams traded gut punches until we had a last second shot to win it all. As it was, it was one of the more exciting games I ever witnessed where a team held the lead the entire game, usually in double digits. With the way both teams score, you knew it was always a contest. Most times, CMU was in control.

There were several times when Toledo fought back and made it a game. Led by Jonathan Williams, who didn’t have a great night shooting, the Rockets eventually closed within 2, 60-58. It wasn’t to be, and CMU battled back, eventually winning 96-88

Braylon Rayson led the Chippewas with 28 points on 10 of 19 shooting. Marcus Keene, who left the game with an injury, came back and ended with 20. In my preview, I said the 3 and 4 scorers would have to step up, and David DiLeo and Luke Meyer did. They ended with 17 and 11, respectively.

Toledo had their first 4 step up, but got absolutely nothing from the rest of the team. However, if the starters wouldn’t have let CMU jump out to that 10-0 lead, it would have been a great game, so blame can be spread all around. But in reality, I wouldn’t be too upset as a Rocket fan. They lost on the road to a good team that was 0-3 in the MAC. Did anyone really believe CMU would drop to 0-4 in the MAC?

Steve Taylor Jr. had a great game scoring 20 and grabbing 16 rebounds, but had 6 turnovers. Jonjon Williams had 30 points on 12-26 shooting, but his slow start helped Central capture the early lead. It’s the same story on down the line for Toledo. They did good, but they weren’t perfect. Against a CMU team that needed a win, who was defending their home turf, it wasn’t enough. This is simply a game Toledo has to shake off.

Central Michigan (11-6, 1-3 in the MAC) looks to build on the momentum of this win Tuesday at Ball State.

Toledo moved to 9-8 on the season, and 2-2 in the MAC. They next host Bowling Green at home on the same day.