Central Michigan (9-20, 4-11 Mid-American)
Western Michigan (12-18, 6-9 Mid-American)
Friday, March 2 | 7 p.m. | Mount Pleasant, Mich. | McGuirk Arena (5,300)
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: CMU Sports Zone (subscription) — cmuchippewas.com
Central Michigan will look to send its seniors out with the Michigan MAC Trophy on Friday night when the Chippewas host the rival Western Michigan Broncos in the regular season finale. Tipoff in McGuirk Arena is set for 7 p.m.
The winner of the game will earn the 2012 Michigan MAC Trophy, a traveling award that the three in-state Mid-American Conference schools compete for each year in both football and men's and women's basketball. A Chippewa victory would give CMU a 3-1 record against WMU and Eastern Michigan this season while a WMU win would cause a three-way tie as each team would be 2-2 against the group. In the event of a tie, the award remains with the previous holder until one of the other rivals claims the title outright. Western Michigan currently holds the trophy and would retain it with a victory over CMU.
The Broncos won the earlier meeting this season in Kalamazoo, 64-61. CMU had the final possession but was unable to hit a game-tying 3-pointer.
Friday night's game will mark the final home appearance for three Chippewa seniors — Andre Coimbra, Nick Jordan and Paris Paramore. Paramore has been inactive this season because of injury. The group will be recognized prior to tipoff.
||Dished out a career-high six assists in the first meeting with WMU
||Is tied for eighth on CMU's single-season steals chart with 51
|| Trey Zeigler
||Needs 31 points for 1,000th of career
||Averaging 4.3 rebounds over the last three games he's started
|| Andre Coimbra
||Recorded second double-double of career on Wednesday at Ball State
NEWS AND NOTES
Western Michigan leads the all-time series, 89-50. The Broncos have won four straight, including a 64-61 victory earlier this season on Jan. 21.
• Ernie Zeigler is 4-8 against the Broncos. CMU is 3-2 at home versus WMU under Zeigler, 1-5 on the road and 0-1 on a neutral floor at the MAC Tournament.
• In the last 26 meetings, the road team has won just seven times. The Broncos have won four times on the road during the span and the Chippewas three.
CMU had the last possession of the game but following a timeout, the Chippewas were unable to get a good look at a potential game-tying 3-pointer in a 64-61 road loss at Western Michigan. Central led by one at the half before the Broncos used a 14-0 run to take the lead for good. WMU led by 11 with 4:49 to go and CMU held Western without a field goal after that while the Chippewas drained three 3-pointers to claw back in. Trey Zeigler’s layup made it a one-possession game with 2:21 to go but neither team would score after that as the Chippewas had three possessions to try and knot the score before the final horn. CMU committed just seven turnovers compared to 20 by the Broncos. Zeigler had a game-high 19 points to lead three Chippewas in double figures. Derek Jackson added 14 points and Andre Coimbra 11 points and eight rebounds. Nate Hutcheson had 17 points and eight boards to lead the home team.
Ball State Recap
Central Michigan was unable to execute on the road while dropping a 71-52 contest at Ball State on Wednesday night. The Chippewas shot just 30 percent from the floor and 42 percent from the line, both the second-worst marks of the season, while the host Cardinals hit 58 percent from the floor and 54 percent from the arc. Andre Coimbra posted the second double-double of his career with a team-high 16 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. He was the lone Chippewa to have any success shooting on the night going 7-for-14 from the floor. The rest of the team combined to go 14-for-55 for 25 percent. CMU made just 5-of-21 3-point attempts for a 24 percent clip. Trey Zeigler added 14 points, but only two in the second half. BSU had four players hit twin digits with Jesse Berry leading the way with 15 points off the bench.
• Western Michigan freshman Austin Richie is the brother of former Chippewa Aaron Richie. Aaron was a two-year letterman at CMU (2006, 2007) while playing in 43 career games.
Michigan MAC Trophy
The Chippewas are looking to capture the Michigan MAC Trophy on Friday night for the second in the history of the award. The traveling trophy started in 2006 and Western Michigan has taken home the title five times (2006, ’07, ’08, ’09 and ’11) while CMU won the rights in 2010. Eastern Michigan has never held the award. The Michigan Sports Hall of Fame presents the trophy to the annual winner of the head-to-head matchups of the in-state MAC rivals. In the event of a tie, the Michigan MAC Trophy remains with the previous holder until one of the other rivals claims the title outright. CMU will win the 2012 trophy with a victory on Friday while WMU will retain the rights with a Bronco victory as all three teams would sport a 2-2 record against the group.
MAC Tournament Begins Monday
If the MAC Tournament started today, the seeding would be: 1. Akron, 2. Buffalo, 3. Ohio, 4. Kent State, 5. Eastern Michigan, 6. Bowling Green, 7. Toledo, 8. Western Michigan, 9. Miami, 10. Ball State, 11. Central Michigan, 12. Northern Illinois.
CMU has scored 70 or more points just twice in MAC play this season and both times were Chippewa victories. Central had a season-high 85 points in the home win over Toledo and 74 points in last Sunday’s home victory over Northern Illinois. The Chippewas hit the mark four times in non-conference play and were 2-2 in those contests.
Trey Zeigler’s 33 points at Toledo on Feb. 22 were the most by a Chippewa since Giordan Watson scored 34 in an overtime game against Buffalo on Feb. 2, 2008. The last time a CMU player had more points in regulation was when Watson had 34 against Buffalo in the MAC Tournament in Cleveland on March 7, 2007.
• Zeigler’s 33 points were a MAC single-game high for conference play this year. Bowling Green’s A’uston Calhoun and Toledo’s Rian Pearson shared the previous MAC high while Toledo’s Julius Brown also had 29 for the Rockets on Wednesday against CMU. Calhoun had 29 versus Buffalo while Pearson hit the mark at Akron.
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 third among freshmen in scoring (11.0) and among all league players in conference action, McBroom ranks second in the league in free throw percentage (.864), tied for ninth in 3-pointers made (1.9) and 11th in 3-point percentage (.387). His overall scoring average of 10.4 points per game ranks third among league freshmen.
A Win with Limited FT Attempts
The Chippewas defeated Eastern Michigan on Feb. 14 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 13-74 (.149) when making nine or fewer free throws.
Sophomore Trey Zeigler is closing in on 1,000 career points. He enters the Western Michigan game with 969 points and is averaging 16.0 points per game. If he maintains his average for the rest of the year, Zeigler would reach 1,000 points in CMU’s first-round MAC Tournament game. • 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 10.4 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 50 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.
• McBroom is shooting .417 from the arc on the year. If he improves his percentage to .429 or better at season’s end, he will rank among the top 10 on CMU’s single-season 3-pointer percentage leaders.
In just his second season at CMU, senior JUCO transfer Andre Coimbra has recorded 65 career blocks. He needs nine 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 51 steals on the year while averaging 1.8 per game. He is currently tied 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 has two, one last season at Eastern Michigan and one this year at Ball State.
.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 then 21 straight opponents shot over the mark until Central held NIU to a .364 clip this past Sunday.
• CMU is 31-11 (.738) 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.