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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McGuirk Arena (5,300) -- Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: CSUN 1-0, CMU 2-2. Away Record: CSUN 0-2, CMU 0-1. Neutral Record: CSUN 2-0, CMU 0-0. Conference Record: CSUN 0-0, CMU 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: Carrying on with a four-game homestand, the Central Michigan Chippewas host the Cal State Northridge Matadors in the final day of the Central Michigan Tournament.
CMU, which began this run at McGuirk Arena with a loss to Pepperdine last weekend, defeated Austin Peay in the first game of this event on Thursday, 90-75, but then bowed to Montana State in a low-scoring affair yesterday, 59-54.
As for the Matadors, their stop in Mount Pleasant has been just that, winning both of their outings thus far. The team began with a narrow 74-73 victory over Montana State two days ago, snapping what had been a two-game slide, and then followed with an 80-77 triumph over Austin Peay in overtime on Friday afternoon.
These teams have split their previous two encounters, with CMU its bout winning at home.
Trailing by two with just over two minutes remaining in overtime, the Matadors scored the final five points of the game against Austin Peay in order to stay in the win column in Mount Pleasant. Northridge was paced by Stephan Hicks with his game-high 24 points, shooting a perfect 12-of-12 at the free-throw line while also pulling down eight rebounds. Stephen Maxwell registered a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Josh Greene pitched in with 14 points.
Through five games, it is Maxwell who leads the offensive attack for the Matadors with his 18.4 ppg, shooting a solid 50.8 percent from the floor while also pulling down 9.2 rpg. Hicks (17.0 ppg) and Greene (15.8 ppg) also play major roles as the program generates 76.6 ppg, but at the same time allows 79.8 ppg.
Central Michigan had a double-digit lead at the break against Montana State, 29-18, on Friday but the host then shot just 28.6 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes of action, including 1-of-13 behind the 3-point line, en route to the setback. The starting five for the Chippewas combined to shoot only 8-of-21 from the floor, generating 25 points. The only double-digit scorer for CMU was Braylon Rayson who posted 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field.
After five games, Rayson is one of four players scoring in double figures for the Chippewas with his 10.2 ppg. Ahead of him on the scoring list are Chris Fowler (14.0 ppg), John Simons (12.0 ppg) and Austin Keel (10.4 ppg), al of whom are starters. Fowler, a 57.8 percent shooter from the floor, is also responsible for close to five assists per contest, while Simons paces the group with 6.4 rpg.
After yesterday's disappointing display, the Chippewas are clearly a team that can be shut down by a solid defense, but assume that the hosts will want to put their best foot forward tonight in the last game of the event.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Central Michigan 68, Cal State Northridge 65
11/23 10:33:17 ET
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