It never felt like a close game. Even when Ohio pulled within four points late in the game, Central Michigan always had a firm grasp on this one, and coasted the last few minutes to a 74-69 victory.
Central Michigan came out firing from deep and shot out to an early 10-2 lead before shooting 14 of its first 18 shots from beyond the arc. The Chips didn't necessarily set the court ablaze shooting-wise after, but fended off an Ohio team that repeatedly hammered away at the CMU lead, but never got closer than four.
Antonio Campbell tossed in a few early buckets along with Javarez Willis to keep Ohio in the contest early. Neither got going in the second half, and Maurice Ndour struggled for the second time this week. After scoring 4 points against EMU on Tuesday, Ndour had the same total with just a few minutes left in the game before hitting some free throws, a 3-pointer and a putback dunk to finish with 11 points. More impressively, the big guy finished with 14 rebounds. The dude at glass today. Four Bobcats, Willis, Ndour, Taylor, and Campbell finished in double figures.
Ohio went on a 10-0 run when it looked like CMU might run away, with Ryan Taylor hitting the runner to pull Ohio within four. The 47-33 lead was similar to last year's mark of 48-31 when Ohio went on a 21-3 run in Athens to pull out a comeback victory. It just wasn't in the cards this time around for Coach Phillips' squad, as the Chips answered back.
CMU went on another quick 6-0 spurt that was capped by a Chris Fowler layup, giving the home crowd an 11-point, 67-56 lead and in turn something to really cheer about. Fowler finished with 17 points, and was joined by John Simons' 16 to lead the way for the home team.
After hitting a season-low four 3-pointers in a 63-53 loss to Kent State the other day, the Chips hit six in the first half alone this time around (out of 19 though).
Oddly enough, Central shot 13-28 in both halves, and went 46.4 from the floor for the game.
Ohio turned the ball over 16 times to Central's nine.
The Chips are now 15-4 (5-3), while the 'Cats are alone in the cellar of the MAC east at 7-12 (2-6).
|Points||Chris Fowler (17)||Javarez Willis (14)|
|Rebounds||John Simons (9)||Maurice Ndour (14)|
|Assists||Chris Fowler (6)||Stevie Taylor (2)|
|Blocks||N/A||Maurice Ndour (3)|
|Steals||Simons/Fowler/Simmons 2||Four with one|