Central Michigan exerted its dominance from the opening tip, going on a 23-5 run in the first seven minutes of the game to wrestle control of the game away from the overwhelmed SIU-Edwardsville Cougars (1-5) by a final score of 94-61.
Seven Chippewas found themselves splitting fourteen treys in the first half alone, as the team went a combined 20-35 (57%) from the arc for the entire game.The twenty made 3-point shots are tied for most in Mid-American Conference history. The Chippewas did end up breaking their program record of seventeen early in the second half.
Braylon Rayson led the way for the Chippewas once again with nineteen points and four assists, with Josh Kozinski (12) Luke Meyer (12) and Chris Fowler (10) also joining Rayson in double-digit scoring. The Chippewas were in control throughout, as the Cougs had a rough go of trying to contain the Chips' up-tempo offense, often losing players in transition and allowing easy shots.
Despite losing the game, the Cougs had the game's overall scoring leader, with Kris Davis pouring in 21 points and passing the 1,000-point barrier in his collegiate career in the process. No other player scored more than seven for the Cougs, as the entire team went 40% in field goal percentage, and a measly 5-16 in 3-point attempts. Donivine Stewart did manage to dole out five assists despite an off shooting night to help contribute to the cause.
Pressure was the name of the game in this one, as the Chips brought it on both sides of the ball, burying SIU-Edwardsville early on offense and wreaking havoc on defense, forcing nine turnovers and compiling five blocks, four of them coming from the indomitable DaRohn Scott.
Coach Keno Davis, in a post-game interview with the Chippewa Sports Network, said that "it's awfully tough to defend four 3-point shooters; we are a tough team to prepare against." Davis also made the observation that the Chippewas cannot yet dictate their offense, saying "we just took what we were given." Considering their history-making performance today, that statement should scare upcoming opponents.
The next game for the Chippewas (6-1) is on December 17th in Evanston, Illinois as they face the Northwestern Wildcats (5-2) The Cougars next face the Saint Louis Billikens (5-2) in Saint Louis next Saturday.