Central Michigan's John Simons drilled a corner three-pointer with just over one minute left to play to lead the visiting Chippewas to a 65-62 road victory over the Toledo Rockets. The Chippewas entered the MAC opener with a 10-1 record and left Savage Arena with a key early conference road victory. It was a surprising result for the home supporters of the midnight blue and gold who saw the Rockets drop not a single contest at home last season.
The Chips were up to the challenge early against the MAC pre-season favorites as the game proved to be a back and forth battle throughout. However, the Rockets would lead by as many as six in the first half before taking a slim 31-29 lead into the halftime break.
Toledo was unable to pull away from feisty Chips in the second half as point guard and leading scorer Juice Brown was able to contribute just seven points on 2-for-9 from the floor. Senior Justin Drummond also struggled from the field for Toledo, requiring seventeen shots to amass just 13 points, including 1-for-5 from behind the three point line.
Zach Garber would add seven key points off the bench for Toledo, including a put back with just over five minutes remaining to give the Rockets a 60-55 lead, but it would prove to be Toledo's final field goal of the night. Juice Brown was able to launch a three point attempt in the waning seconds in an effort to tie the game, but Central Michigan controlled the rebound and would run out the final seconds.
Rayshawn Simmons led the way for the Chips with sixteen points including a key put back with just under two minutes remaining that would give Central Michigan the lead for good 62-60. Chris Fowler also added fourteen points for the Chips, just above his season average of 13.2 to help send the host Rockets to their second home loss of the season.
For the victorious Chips, they will continue league play on the road Saturday and Ball State, while the Rockets will look to get their first conference win of the 2014-2015 season when the host Akron Friday night in an game that will be broadcast on ESPNU.