The fans that gathered at Welsh-Ryan Arena for the game were treated to a shocker, as the Chippewas wiped the floor with the Wildcats from the very start, beating Northwestern by the final score of 80-67. It was the Chippewas' first B1G win since 2007 vs, Michigan and their first road win of the season. Central also gained their first victory vs. Northwestern all-time (1-3).
CMU shot an amazing 58% from the floor vs. Northwestern, including 10-19 from the 3-point arc, as Braylon Rayson scored 19 and Luke Meyer scored a career-high 18 points. Four of the five starters were in double digits for the Chips, with Rayshawn Simmons and Chris Fowler joined in the rout with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Josh Kozinski also contributed nine points and three rebounds.
The Chips led by as many as 12 in the first half, with an Alex Olah desperation three-pointer at the buzzer saving Northwestern from a double-digit deficit going into the half. Play was extremely sloppy in the first half, as the ball changed hands often due to missed shots, errant passes, and other such mishaps; the teams combined for twenty-one turnovers. It cleaned up in the second half, as the Chippewas managed to pull away, leading by as much as 17 points.
The WIldcats struggled to get going offensively as they just couldn't stay consistent from anywhere on the floor. The team often cut the lead to as low as three points, but could never stay consistent enough, shooting 42% from the field, including 6-19 from behind the arc. Olah and Bryant McIntosh tied for the team lead with 12 points, while Sanjay Lumpkin (11) and Dave Sobolewski (12) each scored double-digits for the Wildcats.
After the game, Coach Keno Davis raved about Meyer's performance to media, stating that "[Meyer] is one of those players who causes problems for opposing teams with his unique skill set." It certainly showed as Meyer was able to outpace Olah and get open for shots essentially at will. Coach Davis also said that tonight's performance was "a team effort and really what we've been building towards."
Central Michigan (7-1, 0-0 MAC) next takes on Concordia Friday in Mt. Pleasant , while Northwestern (6-4, 0-0 B1G) stay at home to take on Western Michigan on Saturday.