Central Michigan (7-12) at Western Michigan (11-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: University Arena (5,421) -- Kalamazoo, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Central Michigan 5-5, Western Michigan 7-2. Away Record: Central Michigan 2-7, Western Michigan 2-6. Neutral Record: Central Michigan 0-0, Western Michigan 2-0. Conference Record: Central Michigan 0-7, Western Michigan 4-3. Series Record: Western Michigan leads, 84-46.
GAME NOTES: The Central Michigan Chippewas will seek to end a seven-game losing streak as they travel to face the Western Michigan Broncos in Mid- American Conference action at University Arena.
Since going on a four-game winning streak back at the end of November, the Chippewas have only won one game since that point, losing nine of their last 10 games. Central Michigan is 0-7 in MAC play, and is coming off a 71-67 defeat at the hands of Ohio.
Western Michigan had a two-game win streak snapped by Buffalo, 84-63, in the team's last outing. The loss ended the two-game win streak, but put the Broncos in the loss column for the third time in their last five games. Western Michigan is tied for second at 4-3 in the MAC West Division - two games back of Toledo.
The Broncos have a pretty serious lead in the all-time series with their intrastate rival Central Michigan, 84-46. The two teams will meet twice in the final weekend of play at the end of the regular season.
Central Michigan wasn't able to hold onto an 18-point second-half lead against Ohio in the team's last game, giving up the lead to the Bobcats and allowing them to take the four-point victory. Chris Fowler led the Chippewas with 19 points in the game, adding four rebounds and four steals to his stat totals. Braylon Rayson scored 15, John Simons added 11 and Austin Stewart chipped in 10 in the losing effort. The Chippewas shot an even 40 percent from the floor.
Fowler is the team's top scorer this season, averaging 17.4 ppg with a team- best 95 assists and 30 steals. His impressive scoring numbers come from an even more impressive shooting percentage - a 56.5 percent clip from the floor. Simons is the only other CMU player to average scoring numbers in the double digits, netting 10.7 ppg with a team-best 6.2 rpg. Despite the down season, Central Michigan is averaging 74.3 ppg and just 71.9 ppg to its opponents.
Western Michigan got behind early against Buffalo, and could never make up the deficit in the 21-point loss to the Bulls Wednesday. Shayne Whittington scored a team-high 13 points for the Broncos on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Tucker Haymond and David Brown each chipped in with 11 points in the loss. The Broncos connected on 47.2 percent of their shots in the contest, but went 46.2 percent from the free-throw line.
Brown leads the Western Michigan squad this season in scoring with 18.3 ppg on 40.3 percent shooting from the field. His 32.4 minutes per contest is the most for the Broncos, who have just two players averaging over 30 minutes per game. Whittington is second on the team in scoring with 14.6 ppg and a team-best 8.9 rpg. The big man tops the Broncos in shots blocked as well with 21. Connar Tava is third in scoring, rounding out the double-digit scorers this season for Western Michigan with 11.9 ppg.
Central Michigan has struggled this season, especially recently. The last win the Chippewas notched against a Division I opponent was back on Dec. 7 - the end of their four-game win streak. Western Michigan, playing on its home court, won't have much trouble putting up enough points to down the Chippewas.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Michigan 77, Central Michigan 65
02/01 11:58:38 ET