Sunday, November 14, 2010

CMU falls 65-58 against Montana State in overtime

UPDATED: Central Michigan Life Sports Editor Aaron McMann's recap on can be found here.

CMU's second game ended in overtime against a Montana State team that hit 21-of-30 free throws (70 percent) and 8-of-16 from 3-point land.

Some highlights:
  • Trey Zeigler led all scorers with 21 points. He also had four rebounds, one assist and one steal. He shot 8-of-16 from the field, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range.
  • Jalin Thomas again seemed to be in the flow of things on the offensive end. He didn't shoot real well (6-for-15), but in 33 minutes, grabbed six rebounds.
  • Freshman Derek Jackson came off the bench to contribute five points in 22 minutes.
  • Sophomore Finis Craddock had one his best performances, tallying seven points in 22 minutes.
Some lowlights:
  • After putting up 15 assists in their opening win against Cal State Fullerton, CMU had only seven in Sunday's loss. CMU ranked 11th in the Mid-American Conference last season in assists, averaging only 10.7 per game. Buffalo led the league with 15.1 per game. It's going to be important for this team to find the open man. Trey seemed to be getting doubled a lot, and this could become a trend. Expect coach Ernie Zeigler to adjust accordingly so other guys can get more involved when Trey is smothered.
  • 13 turnovers. CMU had 10 in its opener and averaged 14.2 per game last season. The Chippewas did force Montana State into 10, but need to win the turnover battle or at least stay even to be consistently successful.
  • 25 personal fouls. A sign that the team was tired or out of position. Depends on the refs, but whenever you can keep it under 20 you have a better shot to win. CMU had 19 in their opener against Cal State Fullerton and averaged 21.8 per game last season. Montana State shot 30 free throws to CMU's 18. Not good. Also, CMU had some guys in foul trouble (Antonio Weary, Jalin Thomas, Will McClure), each with four. All upperclassmen. Their minutes declined because of it, and that leaves the new guys out there by themselves.
This team will take some time to figure things out. With so many freshman and so many newcomers, there will be some kinks to iron out as the season progresses. This non-conference season really is a chance for these guys to get to know each other, and for coach Zeigler to figure out which combinations work best together. Also, don't expect a win vs. Hawaii on national TV at 4 a.m. Tuesday. CMU will be a young team on the road in a hostile environment in their third game of the season. It could be close, but I expect the aptly-named "Rainbow Warriors" to pull it out.

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