Game Notes: CMU Welcomes Division Leader Ball State
Courtesy: Jason Kaufman/CMU Athletics
Junior Andre Coimbra and the Chippewas will try to pull within one game of the division lead when they host Ball State on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Central Michigan (8-18, 5-7 MAC ) vs. Ball State (16-11, 8-5 MAC)
Saturday, Feb. 26, 6:30 p.m., Mount Pleasant, Mich., McGuirk Arena

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Watch the Feb. 22 edition of Men's Basketball Insider

Storylines

  • Central Michigan held a five-point lead at Ball State earlier this season with 11:46 remaining when the team’s second-leading scorer, Jalin Thomas , went down with an ankle injury, sparking an 8-2 BSU run that allowed the Cardinals to take the lead and eventually win the game.
A Central Michigan win over Ball State would...
...pull the Chippewas conference record to .500, a mark unabated since starting MAC play 2-2.
...earn the Chippewas their fourth straight conference win.
...improve the Maroon and Gold’s record in McGuirk Arena to 7-5 overall and 6-1 versus MAC foes.
...mark the fourth straight year in which the Chippewas defeated the Cardinals in Mount Pleasant.
...pull CMU within one game of the division lead with a Western Michigan loss at Eastern Michigan.

PROBABLE STARTERS


  Name Ht. Wt. Yr. GP-GS PPG RPG Other Notes
(1) G 13
  John Morris
5-10
172 So. 12-5
1.8
0.6
1.16 APG
Scored a career-high 11 points in last home game on Feb. 16
(2) G 23
  Derek Jackson
6-0 170 Fr. 27-12 6.8 2.0
1.44 SPG
Averaging 9.2 points per game since entering starting lineup on Jan. 27
(3) G
0
  Trey Zeigler
6-5 190 Fr. 27-26
16.7
5.4
2.1 APG
Needs just 22 points to break CMU's single-season freshman scoring record
(4) F 31   Jalin Thomas
6-4 200 Sr. 25-25
16.1
5.4 52 3PT FG
Scored career-high 29 points, including seven threes in last game
(5) C
10   Andre Coimbra 6-9 222 Jr. 27-11 5.1
4.4 1.1 BPG
Went 3-for-3 from the field in last meeting versus Ball State

GAME PREVIEW
All-Time Series
The Cardinals maintain a 55-30 advantage over the Chippewas in the all-time series, including a defeat of the Maroon and Gold earlier this season, 64-55, in Muncie, Ind.

The Coaches
Head Coach Ernie Zeigler is in his fifth season at the helm of the Central Michigan men’s basketball program, sporting a record of 63-87 overall and 37-41 in Mid-American Conference play. Zeigler has led the Chippewas to back-to-back MAC West Division titles. Zeigler is 4-6 versus Ball State. Billy Taylor is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Ball State Cardinals, recording 51 wins and 67 losses. Prior to his time at Ball State, Taylor coached five seasons at Lehigh University and boasts a total win-loss record of 122-132.

Offense On The Run
The Chippewas improved to 4-1 with sophomore walk-on John Morris in the starting lineup, defeating NIU, 64-58, Wednesday night. The Maroon and Gold are averaging 69.0 points and 11.6 assists per game, up from their season averages of 59.1 and 8.7. Morris is averaging 3.8 points and 2.6 assists per game and is shooting 50 percent (3-for-6) from behind the arc in his four starts.

Eye On The Record Books
Freshman guard Trey Zeigler continues to climb the record books of the Central Michigan men’s basketball program. Zeigler has scored 450 points on the season and is just 4 points behind Mike Manciel (1998-99) for second and 21 points behind Dirk Dunbar (1972-73) for the most points by a freshman in CMU history. Zeigler’s 16.7 points per game currently ranks fifth on the freshman scoring average list and his 30-point effort versus Toledo on Jan. 12 tied the seventh best performance by a freshman. [Program Record Book]

Chasing The Leaders Of The Pack
CMU trails division leaders Ball State and Western Michigan by two games in the West Division with just three games remaining. The Chippewas must go 3-0 and see the Cardinals and Broncos go no better than 1-2 to earn a share of their third straight MAC West Division title.

10 Years Ago
The 2000-01 Mid-American Conference champion Chippewas will go down as one of the best teams in Central Michigan history. CMU finished 20-8 overall and 14-4 in MAC play, defeating Kent State in the final game of the season to become the only team in conference history to go from worst to first in a single season. Central’s turnaround was the ninth best in NCAA Division I history. [Full Release]

Thomas Named CoSIDA/Capitol One Academic All-America Second Team

Columbus, Ohio native and senior forward Jalin Thomas was named to the CoSIDA/Capitol One Academic All-America second team on Monday, CoSIDA announced. The senior carries a 3.65 grade-point average in Sport Studies and is the third Central Michigan student-athlete to earn CoSIDA All-American honors this season, joining Matt Berning (football) and Kaihla Szunko (women’s basketball), who each also earned second-team honors. The last men’s basketball player to earn Academic All-America honors was Sander Scott in 1993.[Full Release]


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