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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 9, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McGuirk Arena (15,300) -- Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: BGSU 4-2, CMU 3-1. Away Record: BGSU 0-4, CMU 1-4. Neutral Record: BGSU 1-2, CMU 3-1. Conference Record: BGSU 0-0, CMU 0-0. Series Record: Bowling Green leads, 37-32.
GAME NOTES: Keno Davis is set to make his Mid-American Conference debut as his Central Michigan Chippewas host the Bowling Green Falcons for a league match at McGuirk Arena.
Davis became the first coach to win seven non-conference games at the helm of CMU's program in its Division I era by guiding it to a 7-6 mark thus far. The Chippewas have been victorious in three of their last five games with the losses coming to the Big Ten's Nebraska (89-75) and Michigan (88-73). Although Central Michigan is decent offensively with a scoring average of 67.7 points per game, it is not quite as adept on the other end where opponents have produced 70.2 ppg, which gives the Chippewas the second worst scoring defense in the MAC.
Louis Orr is nearly perfect in MAC openers as he led the Falcons to wins in four of his first five seasons since taking over the helm of the program. Bowling Green will need to turn things around as it enters conference play on a losing slide that was extended four games on New Year's Eve with a 75-57 loss at Temple. The Falcons recent woes have dropped their record to 5-8 which includes an 0-4 mark on the road.
These schools split a pair of meetings during the 2011-12 season. The Falcons picked up a 71-58 victory at home during the regular season before the Chippewas clipped BGSU, 54-53, in the opening round of the MAC Tournament. Bowling Green now owns a 37-32 all-time series edge.
Bowling Green is going to be a tough opponent throughout its MAC season due to its stopping power that has led to an opponent's average of only 63.5 ppg. The Falcons showed they are nowhere near as adept on the offensive end in their loss to the Owls. Aside from A'uston Calhoun, who went 9-of-17 for 22 points and nine rebounds, Bowling Green went 14-of-44 from the field and 2-of-12 from 3-point range. 5-6 senior point guard Jordon Crawford had scored in double- figures in eight consecutive contests before going 2-of-10 to net four points at Temple. Calhoun is ranked third in scoring (16.2) and fourth in rebounding (7.2) among MAC players, while Crawford is fifth in points (15.5) and seventh in assists (3.8).
The Chippewas should be well rested as they have not taken the floor since their 15-point loss to the Wolverines on Dec. 29. CMU hit 47.5 percent of its field goal attempts including 8-of-25 from beyond the arc in the contest, but it never had a chance as Michigan poured in 51.5 percent of its field goal tries with 11 makes from distance. Olivier Mbaigoto finished with 14 points and five rebounds while Derrick Richardson Jr. and Austin Keel tallied 11 points apiece for the Chippewas. Kyle Randall, who is the team's only consistent double-digit scorer with 15.5 ppg, was held to 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Mbaigoto has stepped up his play recently to net 11 points and nine boards per contest over his last two.
The Falcons' last four games were all very tough matchups and although they were unable to seize a win in any, the stretch helped BGSU grow as a unit. CMU will be the first team to lose at home to the Falcons if Randall does not get any help from his teammates, as BGSU is going to force the role players to beat it.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 67, Central Michigan 63
01/09 10:36:03 ET