Tag Archives: Mount Pleasant

Central Michigan Men Hold On against Ball State

After the first game of the day in which Central Michigan women dazzled the home crowd against Toledo, the men kept things going strong into the evening in their conference matchup with visiting MAC West leader, Ball State.

Trailing the Cardinals by just a game in the division, both teams seemed to be riding different strategies to success in the first half.

Ball State got into the lane early and often on multiple floating layups or jumpers and a great post performance by senior forward Tahjai Teague that was more impressive than his stat line would indicate as several trips to the line came up mostly empty. Central struggled to stop the efficient tendencies of the Cardinals throughout much of the first half.

Central Michigan on the other hand struggled inside the arch for much of the first half, but traded every few buckets with a three point dart that kept things close. CMU ended the half with a 33-27 lead.

The second half opened up as both teams were able to establish the fast break on a few occasions that led to rim crushing dunks. CMU established a firm grip on things midway through the second half, but stalled as they began to allow things to run deep into the shot clock offensively. The strategy did not pay off and momentum began to shift rather quickly back in favor of the Cardinals who went on a 11-3 run that got them as close as two points after appearing to be without any answer for the Chippewas.

Perhaps the biggest difference maker was forcing Ball State to make uncharacteristic mistakes who tallied a shocking 28 turnovers in the game. The Chippewas improve to a tie in the MAC West with Ball State and a 10-1 record at home this season. Dallas Morgan led the Chippewas with 21 points. Tahjai Teague led the Cardinals with 17.

CMU travels on the road to face Miami Ohio for the second time this MAC season after defeating the Redhawks by 11 earlier this month at McGuirk.

Central Michigan Women topple another MAC Giant to maintain 1st Place

If you are waiting for the Central Michigan women to slow down or show their mortality in this tough stretch of opponents, you will have to wait at least a little longer. The Chippewas have faced a grueling schedule of top MAC West opponents in recent weeks and found ways to win them in convincing ways ranging from surprising blowouts to desperate play that only champions can apply to the offhand game in the dog days of January’s basketball schedule. It seems the CMU women are not content to let a single game to escape them the rest of the way as they prepare for another run in March.

Saturday afternoon was no different.

Playing in front of a rowdy packed house at McGuirk arena, the Chippewas met Toledo for an opportunity at extending their winning streak. The home crowd was certainly nervous on more than one occasion, but gritty, cerebral and tenacious play gave the Chippewas another win in the MAC and sent the Toledo Rockets back to Ohio disappointed.

The Rockets didn’t go lightly, either, as a late run had fans on the edge of their seat between pandemonious standing ovations following relentless big plays by the Chippewas. AS things appeared just about ready to be closed out, Mikayla Kelly drove down the right side of the lane and kicked the ball to Maddy Watters in the corner who passed on a three point attempt and drove to the basket, absorbing a hard foul, and putting up a contested shot that bounced and hung on the rim several times before dropping in and sending her to the line.

The crowd went wild and CMU president, Robert O. Davies, was loving every moment of it. So were the ladies of Central Michigan. The held on for another win in the MAC that puts them at 14-4 (6-0). Toledo drops to 9-7 (4-1).

Central Michigan Throttles Ball State to Take 1st Place in MAC

Not many in attendance or outside the friendly confines of McGuirk arena likely predicted an outcome like what was witnessed on Wednesday night when Ball State traveled to take on Central Michigan in a test of Mid-American Conference Titans.

The top two teams in the MAC over the last several seasons met once again to determine who would gain sole ownership of the conference lead as they make their way into the meat of the conference schedule and many predictions leading into the contest had the Ball State Cardinals as the favorite to do just that over the home team Central Michigan Chippewas.

Ball State has enjoyed several impressive wins over non-conference foes Xavier, New Mexico and Butler, while holding their own in games against Wisconsin and Cincinnati.

The results could not have been further from the pundit predictions.

After the first few minutes, in which both teams seemed to battle in a fairly evenhanded fashion, CMU began to pull away and do so with authority.

The Chippewas got things going with increased defensive pressure that netted several unforced errors by Ball State and Chippewa steals got things going for the Maroon and Gold, who played to a sizable crowd that enjoyed every moment of Chippewa dominance. The Chippewas forced the Cardinals to play at a pace they were clearly uncomfortable playing and continued to force the issue on each ensuing possession.

Things never got close once CMU pulled away and the Chippewas managed to secure the win by playing with an impressive sense of urgency rarely seen by teams maintaining such a large lead so deep into regulation.

First year women’s basketball coach, Heather Osterle, has the Chippewas playing for their third MAC championship in as many years and their championship pedigree showed. The Chippewas did not let their foot off the gas until the final horn sounded, emphasizing the point that they are playing for March and not the end of regulation. The Chippewas closed the game with a convincing 66-39 win that is sure to put the rest of the MAC on notice that fresh faces in the lineup and head coach position have not slowed CMU.

CMU’s desire to build on and improve recent success was evident and on full display as they hope to take some momentum into another tough conference matchup against in-state rival, Western Michigan, on the road in Kalamazoo this Saturday.