MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Central Michigan welcomes conference rival Western Michigan to McGuirk Arena for its third home game in eight days. The Chippewas look to rebound after Wednesday night's loss to Northern Illinois. Central Michigan comes into the contest second in the Mid-American Conference West division, trailing the Broncos by one game.
The Chippewas (9-9, 2-3 MAC) are 51-89 against Western Michigan (11-7, 3-2) all-time, dating back to 1908. The two teams split games last season, but Central Michigan has won four of the last six meetings in Mount Pleasant. Of the last 27 meetings, the home team has won 20.
Freshman guard Chris Fowler has emerged as a key contributor for Central Michigan. Averaging 25 minutes per game, Fowler has accumulated 91 assists on the season, 19 away from breaking the program's assists record for a Division I freshman and 25 away from the most assists by a freshman in school history. Fowler had a season high of nine assists at Toledo on January 12, and is averaging 5.5 per game.
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• THE MATCHUP
Central Michigan vs Western Michigan
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 • 7 p.m. ET
Mount Pleasant, Mich. • McGuirk Arena (5,300)
• THE BROADCAST
Central Michigan vs Western Michigan• Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013
Radio: Central Michigan IMG Sports Network - Flagship 95.3 WCFX-FM, Mount Pleasant
(play-by-play); (color analyst)
• THE OPENING TIP
• The Chippewas attempt to wrap up their longest homestand of the year – three league games in a matter of seven days – with a 2-1 record.
• With an 8-6 record after the MAC opener, CMU has dropped back to .500 with losses in three of the last four games, including one in overtime and two by six points or less.
• The last time Central Michigan was below .500 was after the season opener at Iowa.
• A senior and a freshman have combined to be the league’s only point guard combo to rank in the top-10 assist list. Randall is fourth in the MAC and the league’s leading freshman at 5.1 assists per game, while Randall ranks 10th at 2.9. They have combined for 60 percent of the team’s assists.
• The Chippewas’ 13.4 assists per game this season rank fifth in the league and represent the highest average since 2003-04 (14.1 apg).
• THE SERIES
• Western Michigan leads the series 89-51, but have lost four of the last six games in Mount Pleasant. The two teams split last year's series, each winning on their home floors. The Western Michigan series is Central Michigan's second-oldest series against NCAA Division I opponents, dating back to 1908.
• In the last 27 meetings, the road team has won just seven times.