Central Michigan (8-18, 3-9 Mid-American)
Toledo (13-14, 4-8 Mid-American)
Wednesday, February 22 | 7 p.m. | Toledo, Ohio | Savage Arena (7,300)
Radio: WCFX-FM 95.3 & WUPS-FM 98.5 — Don Chiodo and Don Helinski
Live Audio: CMU Sports Zone (free) — cmuchippewas.com
Live Video Webcast: Rocket Vision (subscription) — utrockets.com
Only four games remain during the regular season and Central Michigan opens the home stretch at Toledo on Wednesday night. Tipoff in Savage Arena is set for 7 p.m.
CMU has won six straight against the Rockets, including a convincing 85-69 victory in the MAC opener for both schools back on Jan. 7. The Chippewas are coming off a two-point home loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday as part of the BracketBusters series.
Toledo has won two straight entering the CMU contest, with both wins coming on the road. The Rockets' Rian Pearson leads the league in scoring in conference play, averaging 17.6 points per game.
||Made first start of the season (seventh of career) on Saturday
||Had 14 points in each of last two meetings against Toledo
|| Trey Zeigler
||Averaging 23.7 ppg in three career meetings against Toledo
|(4) F||25|| Olivier Mbaigoto
||Shooting a league best .893 from the line in MAC play
|| Andre Coimbra
||Ranks sixth in the MAC in blocked shots
NEWS AND NOTES
Toledo leads the all-time series, 52-33. CMU has won the last six meetings after Toledo reeled off 12 straight wins in the series dating back to 2004.
• CMU head coach Ernie Zeigler is 6-5 all-time against Toledo, winning six straight.
Trey Zeigler led Central Michigan with 19 points and four assists as the Chippewas’ best shooting night of the season resulted in an 85-69 win over Toledo in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams. Toledo scored the first bucket of the game but Central never trailed after that. CMU used a pair of 9-0 runs to take a 16-point lead in the first half and the Chippewas led by at least eight points the entire second. Austin McBroom tied a then career-high with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, while Derek Jackson added 14 points and Andre Coimbra 10 points and a team-high seven boards off the bench. Rian Pearson had a team-high 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the Rockets.
CMU assistant coach Darren Kohne is a Toledo native and 2000 graduate of UT.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Recap
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi outlasted CMU in a 49-47 BracketBusters matchup on Saturday in Mount Pleasant. Trey Zeigler led the Chippewas with 22 points and Derek Jackson added 15. After a missed 3-pointer by the Islanders with 16 seconds left, CMU was down by one and ran the shot clock down for what it hoped would be a final shot. However, Jackson was called for a charging foul on the left baseline and the Islanders made free throws to put the game away after that. TAMU-CC had no double-figure scorers and the Islanders only shot 59 percent from the line, but CMU made just 3-of-20 3-point attempts (.150) and just 12-of-20 (.600) free throws.
Coaches Promoting Prostate Cancer Awareness
Ernie Zeigler and other coaches around the country are wearing bow ties and buttons this week promoting prostate cancer awareness. CMU’s entire staff wore a bow tie during last Saturday’s game against Texas A&M-CC. During Black History Month in February, ON THE LINE, a national prostate cancer education and awareness campaign, is teaming up with the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA), the organization that represents and supports African American collegiate basketball and football coaches, to encourage African American men to not only learn the risk factors of prostate cancer, but also how to communicate with loved ones and physicians about their health. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, making prostate cancer more prevalent than breast cancer. African American men are at even greater risk, as one in five will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. African American men are also more likely to develop prostate cancer than other ethnic groups and are more likely to die from the disease.
Freshman of the Year Candidate
Freshman point guard Austin McBroom is making a bid for MAC Freshman of the Year honors. In MAC play only, the North Hollywood, Calif., native ranks second among freshmen in scoring (11.3) and among all league players in conference action, McBroom ranks second in the league in free throw percentage (.879) and is tied for fourth in 3-pointers made (2.2) and ranks 11th in 3-point percentage (.406). His overall scoring average of 10.5 points per game ranks third among league freshmen.
Winning the Board Battle
The Chippewas outrebounded Eastern Michigan by 13 last Tuesday, 36-23. It was CMU’s largest rebounding margin this season against a Division I opponent.
• CMU outrebounded TAMU-CC, 33-29, marking the first time this season that the Chippewas have outrebounded their opponent in consecutive games.
In each of the last two game, every Chippewa who played recorded at least one rebound. In the win over Eastern Michigan, nine of the 11 players who saw action also scored.
A Win with Limited FT Attempts
The Chippewas defeated Eastern Michigan last Tuesday despite the fact that they made just three free throws in the game. It’s pretty rare for CMU to win when making less than 10 freebies. Since 2000, the Chippewas are 13-72 (.153) when making nine or fewer free throws.
Sophomore Trey Zeigler is closing in on 1,000 career points. He enters the Toledo game with 908 points and is averaging 15.5 points per game. If he maintains his average for the rest of the year, Zeigler would need CMU to win its MAC Tournament first-round game to hit 1,000 points this season in a second-round game in Cleveland.
• Zeigler is looking to become the 28th member of CMU’s 1,000-point club and the first since Jordan Bitzer and Robbie Harman both joined during the 2010 season.
• Zeigler is looking to become the first Chippewa to ever hit the 1,000-point plateau as a sophomore. Ben Kelso scored exactly 1,000 points in his first two seasons, but they were as a sophomore and a junior as he played in an era when freshmen were not eligible. Dan Majerle scored 801 points his freshman and sophomore seasons but he only played in 12 games his freshman year because of injury. He was averaging 18.6 points as a freshman and missed 15 games that year. Junior college transfer Ervin Leavy scored 1,003 points in his first two seasons as a Chippewa, but it was his junior and senior years.
Freshman Double-Figure Scorer
Freshman point guard Austin McBroom is averaging in double figures with 10.5 points per game. He is looking to become just the fourth CMU freshman to average in double figures in the last 15 years. The three to accomplish the feat in that span are Trey Zeigler (16.3 ppg) last year, Giordan Watson (10.3) in 2005 and Mike Manciel (17.5) in 1999.
Freshman Austin McBroom has drained 47 3-pointers this season and he is on track to turn in one of the top 3-point performances by a freshman in CMU history. Ryan Jansen holds the freshman record with 69 treys in 1995 while Sander Scott hit 56 in 1990 en route to MAC All-Freshman Team honors.
In just his second season at CMU, senior JUCO transfer Andre Coimbra has recorded 62 career blocks. He needs 12 more to join CMU’s career top 10 list and tie Dennis Kann’s (1989-92) career total of 74.
Stealing a Record?
Sophomore Derek Jackson has 46 steals on the year while averaging 1.8 per game. He needs five steals to tie for eighth on CMU’s single season chart. The CMU single season record is 63 set by Dave Grauzer in 1979.
Trey Zeigler recorded the sixth double-double of his career with 17 points and 10 rebounds at Bowling Green. It marked just his second double-double against a MAC opponent. He also had one against Eastern Michigan this year. Andre Coimbra is the only other active Chippewa with a double-double in his career. Coimbra notched his lone double dip last season at Eastern Michigan.
.400 is the Magic Mark
The Chippewas held the opposition below .400 shooting from the floor in each of the first six games this season but the last 19 opponents have all shot .400 or better.
• CMU is 30-11 (.732) under Ernie Zeigler when holding the opponent under 40 percent.
The Chippewas have now dropped six straight overtime games and stand 3-8 in extra sessions under head coach Ernie Zeigler. The Chippewas are 2-1 in multiple-overtime games under the current Chippewa mentor.
• Two Chippewas were high school teammates of National Player of the Year honorees. Austin McBroom played his freshman season at Campbell Hall High School with 2008 Gatorade Player of the Year Jrue Holiday (UCLA/Philadelphia 76ers). Austin Keel played his senior season at Winter Park High School with 2011 Naismith Prep Player of the Year Austin Rivers (Duke).
• CMU signed 6-8, 210-pound forward John Simons (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS) to a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period. As a junior at Cadillac High School, Simons averaged 23 points and eight rebounds while leading the Vikings to a 20-5 record and a Class B regional championship. He was named second team all-state by the Detroit Free Press.
New MAC Tournament Format
The Mid-American Conference Tournament had some drastic changes made to the format for this season. Most notably is the fact that the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds receive byes to the semifinals while the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds receive byes to the quarterfinals. Also, seeding will be based on conference winning percentage, regardless of division. So this year, the top two seeds could come from the same division. Seeds No. 5 through No. 12 will play first round games on campus sites with those four winners advancing to the second round in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.