February 13, 2011

Chippewas top Bowling Green

MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan erased an eight-point second-half deficit to defeat Bowling Green, 69-64, at McGuirk Arena on Saturday night.

"We had an extremely determined group of guys out there today," head coach Ernie Zeigler said. "They really trusted each other and we played hard. We talked about the pillars of our program the last few days, 'think tough, be tough,' and how we play hard and battle through stuff. You saw guys respond today and really grow up."

After leading 37-31 at halftime, the Falcons (12-13, 7-4 MAC) gained their largest lead of the game, 39-31, on a layup by Joe Jakubowski just 56 seconds into the second half.

The Chippewas (7-17, 4-7 MAC) then went on a 10-4 run over the next five minutes in which freshman guard Derek Jackson knocked down two three-point field goals to pull CMU within two, 43-41, at the 14:46 mark.

After the Falcons pushed the lead back to four, 48-44, on a three by Dee Brown with 11:07 to go, the Maroon and Gold used another 10-3 run to take the lead. During the run, Jackson hit another jumper and fed an assist to John Morris for a fastbreak layup and a Chippewa lead, 49-48. BGSU's A'uston Calhoun knocked down a three to take the lead back, 51-49, but Jalin Thomas scored five straight points and the Chippewas never looked back.

Down the stretch the Falcons pulled the game within one with 1:51 remaining, but the Chippewas responded with back-to-back layups by Thomas and Andre Coimbra. Two free throws by Brown put the Falcon deficit at one once again with 22 seconds to go, but Thomas and Jackson knocked down four-straight free throws to seal the game.

The first half saw the Falcons jump out to a 15-8 lead with 13:27 to go in the half before CMU came battling back on dunks by Antonio Weary and freshman Jevon Harden. CMU took it's first lead of the game at the 2:37 mark on a Trey Zeigler layup, but BGSU responded with a 9-2 run over the last 2:37, including a jumper by Brown at the Buzzer for a 37-31 halftime lead.

The Chippewas finished the game shooting 49.0 percent from the field on 25-of-51 shooting, including a 40 percent clip from behind the arc (6-for-15). CMU held the edge on the boards 32-27 and outscored the Bowling Green bench 11-6 in the game.

Zeigler paced the Chippewas with a team-high 18 points and eight rebounds, while both Thomas and Jackson finished with 17 points. Morris finished the game with four points and four assists, both career highs.

"He's (Derek) been putting in extra work", Zeigler said. "Derek, like other guys on our team, have gone through some struggles. We know he's a big-time player."

Brown finished with 20 points for the Falcons while Calhoun and Jakubowski scored 15 and 12 points, respectively.

The Chippewas are now 4-1 versus the MAC at home this season and will host rival Eastern Michigan on Wednesday at McGuirk Arena at 7:30 p.m. on SportsTime Ohio

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