MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Central Michigan started the 2014 calendar year and finished its non-conference schedule on an extreme high note on Friday night in McGuirk Arena, setting a program record for margin of victory in a 127-44 dismantling of Marygrove. CMU also equaled its non-conference win total from a year ago, recording its seventh.
The 83-point margin of victory easily topped the previous high of 71, set in a 107-36 win over Hillsdale on February 28, 1963. The Chippewas also tied the program record for most points in a game, also totaling 127 in a victory over Oakland on December 3, 1987.
Braylon Rayson led six Chippewas in double figures, scoring a career-high 27 points. The freshman guard made 11-of-16 shots, including four three-pointers. Austin Stewart (14), Spencer Krannitz (13) and Rayshawn Simmons (10) also established personal offensive bests. In total, 12 CMU players scored at least three points, with eight notching nine or more.
CMU outrebounded Marygrove, 45-29, including a 31-15 advantage on the defensive boards. Senior guard/forward DeAndray Buckley had a game-high eight rebounds in 15 minutes of play. Every Chippewa player that saw action had at least one rebound.
Central Michigan (7-5) started fast while Marygrove was ice cold from the field early on. The Chippewas jumped out to a 7-0 lead, thanks to a three-pointer by John Simons and two buckets by Fowler, and held the Mustangs off the scoreboard for nearly the first four minutes of the game. After a series of layups by Buckley, Stewart, Zach Saylor and Simmons, CMU’s advantage ballooned to 20-5 at the 12:51 mark.
Marygrove responded with a mini 6-3 run to pull within 12 of CMU at 23-11 but that’s as close as the Mustangs would get. After a timeout, the Chippewas sprinted out to score 16 of the next 19 points and build a 39-14 lead with under 7:30 to play. CMU kept pouring it on before the break, including three three-pointers from Rayson in the final 4:57 of the half. Heading into the locker rooms, Central was in control with a 60-25 lead.
The second half told a similar story as the first. CMU continued to score at will, upping its lead by 10 points to 45, getting baskets from eight different Chippewas by the 11:38 mark. A layup by Marygrove’s Daryll Dixon with 10:34 remaining in the game made the score 87-42. From that point on, Central overwhelmed the Mustangs with a 35-2 run to end the game. Marygrove went 8:09 without a basket while CMU was getting points from a variety of sources.
Krannitz went on a personal 7-0 run late, making a free throw after a made three-pointer and then following it up with a layup and another free throw. Rayson put the finishing touches on the win, scoring on a layup with 1:09 on the clock, but missed a three-pointer in the final minute that would have broken the program's single-game scoring record.
The Central Michigan press harassed Marygrove throughout the game, earning the Chippewas 16 steals, which they converted into 34 points, while forcing 23 Mustang turnovers.
CMU dominated in the paint, scoring over 50 percent of its points there (68), mostly on layups. The Chippewas bench outscored the Mustangs’, 69-4.
Dixon led Marygrove (1-14) with 18 points while Diante Taylor added 12. The Mustangs shot just 29% from the field, making only six baskets in the second half.
CMU will begin MAC play next week when it welcomes Miami (Ohio) (4-6) to McGuirk Arena for a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
Central Michigan men’s basketball is on Twitter. Follow head coach Keno Davis (@CoachKenoDavis) and the program’s official Twitter account (@CMUMensBBall) to get insider news and information and team updates. The Chippewas are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CMUMensBBall.
For an insiders look at the 2013-14 Chippewas, click here to view the Central Michigan Men’s Basketball MAC Guide. Find feature stories, coach and player bios, videos and much more.