McKay, Williams Lead Opening-Night Rout

Cecil Williams throws down one of his five dunks en route to a career-high 21 points on Friday as the Chippewas rolled past Siena Heights.
Nov. 10, 2017

Box Score

Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Yeah, there are plenty of things that coach Keno Davis and his staff will pick apart and look to improve upon.

There always is in a season-opening game.

Still, it could not have gone a whole lot better for Davis' Central Michigan men's basketball team on Friday at McGuirk Arena.

Kevin McKay and Cecil Williams both set career highs with 22 and 21 points, respectively, as the Chippewas ran past Siena Heights, 108-48.

The Chippewas bolted to a 13-2 lead less than five minutes after the opening tip and were firmly in control, 55-24, against the NAIA Saints.

Davis went deeply into his bench, playing 14 players, 12 of whom scored. Ten Chippewas logged double-digit minutes and five scored in double figures.

"I felt like it was our guys understanding that we needed every minute of experience on the court," Davis said. "Even though the game was in hand we were trying to get everything we could out of it. I credit our guys for keeping their focus throughout the game and I feel like that will pay dividends in the future."

Williams, a 6-foot-6 senior who transferred to CMU before last season, also had a game-high 11 rebounds in recording his second career double-double as he put on display the obvious improvements and confidence he gained in the offseason.

He added a career-best five steals and CMU recorded 19 thefts and forced the Saints into 29 turnovers.

"I think experience plays a big role in that," Williams said. "Got my feet wet last year and I see how it all works now. It's much easier now. Just playing aggressive and with a lot of effort, just trying to play hard every single minute I'm out there."

Shawn Roundtree added 12 points, Gavin Peppers had 11, and David DiLeo added 10 for the Chippewas. McKay grabbed nine rebounds as CMU finished with a 45-30 advantage on the glass.

McKay, a sophomore, did not start, but he logged a team-high 24 minutes (as did Williams). He made nine of his 13 field goal attempts and all four of his free throw attempts.

The Chippewas finished 24-of-27 from the line five days after they went 44-of-48 in an exhibition victory over Northwood.

"I think we'll look game-to-game, especially early in the nonconference, which rotation starts us off better," Davis said. "Obviously Kevin's a big part of this team this year and you'll see him on the court more times than not."

The Chippewas go to Michigan on Monday (7 p.m.) for a nonconference game.

"We'll have nerves going in there with so many guys doing this for the first time," Davis said. "We had nerves for our Maroon and Gold game. So going into a Big Ten opponent on the road we undertand that we're going to make some mistakes. But I think what we're trying to do is figure it out as coaches, our rotation, our style of play and our players are trying to figure it out too.

"I think you'll see a lot of different things out of us against Michigan, offensively and defensively, we're still trying to find what's most effective for us."

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