• Central Michigan (15-9, 4-7 MAC) will open a two-game road set on Saturday, Feb. 10 when it visits Akron (10-13, 3-8 MAC) for a 2 p.m. game at the Zips’ James A. Rhodes Arena.
• The Chippewas own a 14-32 record in their all-time series with the Zips.
• Central Michigan narrowly dropped its lone meeting with Akron in 2016-17, falling 89-85 at McGuirk Arena despite getting a combined 60 points from Marcus Keene (33) and Braylon Rayson (27).
• CMU’s Saturday afternoon matchup with Akron is the teams’ lone regular season meeting this year.
• ONE TO WATCH: Expect long distance connections on Saturday, as no two Division I teams have made more 3-pointers over the past three-plus years than Akron (1,329) and Central Michigan (1,282)
LAST TIME OUT
• An early deficit against the top team in the Mid-American Conference proved too much to overcome as Central Michigan fell to Buffalo, 88-82, before 1,979 at McGuirk Arena.
• Cecil Williams scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead CMU. Shawn Roundtree Jr. added 20 points, and David DiLeo and Kevin McKay added 12 apiece.
• Jeremy Harris scored 22 points and CJ Massinburg added 18 to lead Buffalo.
• Buffalo seized a 12-point lead, 30-18, with eight minutes to play in the first half. The Bulls led 37-29 at halftime.
• The Chippewas cut their deficit to four, 86-82, on a Josh Kozinski 3-pointer with 10 seconds left. Wes Clark made two free throws with 9 seconds remaining to seal it.
• CMU outrebounded the Bulls, 38-33.
• The Chippewas, who entered the game leading the nation in free throw shooting, made 16 of their 17 attempts from the line (94.1 percent).
• Overall, Buffalo shot 50 percent from the field; CMU finished at 43.9 percent.
• Senior guard Josh Kozinski needs eight 3-pointers to become Central Michigan basketball’s (men’s or women’s) career leader. NIki DiGuilio, who played from 2010-14, currently holds the record with 288. Kozinski broke the men’s record vs. NIU on Jan. 30.
• Four different Chippewas have earned MAC West Player of the Week honors this season -- Shawn Roundtree Jr. (11/27), David DiLeo (12/24), Luke Meyer (1/22) and Cecil Williams (2/5). Only MAC frontrunner Buffalo has equaled that number this season.
• Central Michigan is one of three Division I teams that feature starters who all shoot 75% or better from the free throw line, joining Auburn and William & Mary. • Central Michigan is No. 1 in the nation in free throw percentage, shooting .810 from the line. The Chippewas are the only team in the NCAA to shoot above 80%.
• Senior forward Luke Meyer has made 21 of his last 22 free throws. He is shooting .903 from the line this season.
• Sophomore guard/forward Kevin McKay leads the MAC in steals per game in conference contests (2.6 spg) and ranks fourth in offensive rebounds (2.6).
• Led by first-year head coach John Groce, Akron enters Saturday’s conference contest mired in a four-game losing streak, including a 99-75 road setback to Ohio in its last outing, on Feb. 6.
• Akron went undefeated at home in the nonconference season and is 3-2 versus MAC opponents in the JAR, claiming wins over Bowling Green (80-78), Northern Illinois (82-67) and Ohio (71-68).
• Akron, which averages 72.5 points per game (No. 10 in the MAC, No. 6 in conference play), features three players who average double figures in scoring -- sophomore forward Daniel Utomi (15.4 ppg), senior guard Malcolm Duvivier (14.3 ppg) and junior guard Jimond Ivey (13.9 ppg).
• Utomi leads the MAC in 3-pointers made with 66 and is second on the team in rebounding, pulling down 5.9 boards per game.
• Duvivier is tied with CMU’s David DiLeo for second in the MAC with 64 made 3-pointers. He ranks second on the team in assists with 75.
• Ivey, who had 6 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals vs. CMU a year ago, leads the team in assists (83) and rebounds (6.0 rpg) and is third in 3-pointers with 47.
UP NEXT FOR THE CHIPPEWAS
Central Michigan will finish out a two-game road swing and begin a string of six-straight contests against MAC West opponents to finish out the regular season on Tuesday, Feb. 13 when it travels to DeKalb, Ill. to face Northern Illinois (10-14, 3-8 MAC) in an 8 p.m. ET game at the Huskies’ Convocation Center.