Central Michigan (8-7) at Eastern Michigan (7-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 15, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center ( 8,754) -- Ypsilanti, Michigan. Television: MAC-TV. Home Record: CMU 4-1, EMU 7-2. Away Record: CMU 1-5, EMU 0-7. Neutral Record: CMU 3-1, EMU 0-0. Conference Record: CMU 1-1, EMU 0-2. Series Record: Central Michigan leads, 97-86.
GAME NOTES: The Central Michigan Chippewas will attempt to deny the Eagles their first Mid-American Conference win of the season when they take on Eastern Michigan at the Convocation Center.
This will be the 184th all-time meeting between these instate rivals. The Chippewas hold a 97-86 lead in the series that dates back to the 1905-06 campaign. CMU clipped the Eagles, 55-52, in the most recent encounter on Feb. 14, 2012.
The Chippewas continued their trend of following wins with losses as they dropped a 76-72 decision at Toledo in overtime on Saturday. The setback dropped CMU to a 1-1 mark in MAC action and a 1-5 record on the road. Kyle Randall has notched 17.1 points per game this season, while John Simons leads the team with 5.3 rebounds a game, and Chris Fowler is posting 5.1 assists per game.
Randall had a game-high 24 points versus Toledo, but none of his teammates joined him in double-figures while the Rockets had a much more balanced effort. CMU did manage to assist 20 of its 26 makes from the field and hold a 35-29 edge in the rebounding battle, but its defensive troubles were apparent. The Chippewas have the second worst scoring defense (70.3 ppg) and highest field goal percentage defense (0.465) in the MAC. Offensively, they are much more respectable with 68.2 ppg thanks to their 124 connections from beyond the arc.
Eastern Michigan has yet to win since entering 2013 and has lost seven straight games to Division I opponents since its 47-44 upset of Purdue on Dec. 7. The Eagles fell to 7-9 overall and 0-2 in the MAC on Saturday when they lost a 46-44 affair to Bowling Green on the road. EMU is clearly much better at home, where it is 7-2 on the season. Senior guard Derek Thompson is leading the way offensively, tallying 11.6 points per game. Pacing the Eagles in rebounding is junior center Da'Shonte Riley who is posting 6.1 boards per game.
While EMU is really having trouble picking up victories, it is leading the MAC in scoring defense with a low-allowed average of 61.9 ppg. The Eagles' defensive prowess was on display their last time out, as they held BGSU to just 34.6 percent shooting from the floor. Their own offensive output was even worse however, as they went just 15-of-52 from the field with the last miss courtesy of Thompson's game-winning 3-point try as time expired. Thompson was the only Eastern Michigan player to score in double figures with 11 points. Jamell Harris finished with 11 rebounds and Da'Shonte Riley had 10 boards.
The Eagles may have more luck on the offensive end against CMU. The Chippewas are a beatable visitor for EMU, but its stinginess on the defensive end needs to continue and Randall will need to be the main focus of the Eagles' scouting report.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Eastern Michigan 59, Central Michigan 56
01/15 10:34:51 ET