Brigitha finds offensive rhythm for struggling Chips

Published 1:34 am Monday, January 5, 2004

By Staff
Niles High School graduate Gerrit Brigitha has apparently found his rhythm for the Central Michigan men's basketball team.
The 6-8 senior center scored a career-high 29 points on 11-of-11 shooting from the floor in CMU's 124-103 win over Tri-State last Tuesday. He then scored 26 points on 9-of-11 from the floor in the Chippewas' 72-63 loss to Marshall in Saturday's Mid-America Conference opener.
Brigitha also led the team with eight rebounds against Marshall.
The Chippewas, now 3-8 overall and 0-1 in league play, return to action Wednesday night at Toledo.
Central Michigan University dug itself a double-digit deficit in the first half and could never fight all the way back in dropping the Mid-American Conference men's basketball opener to Marshall University here Saturday afternoon, 72-63.
The Chippewas trailed by as many as 15 points at 35-20 with 1:54 to go in the first half before rallying to trail by a 37-28 margin at the break.
CMU whittled away at the Thundering Herd lead in the second half, drawing to within one point at 64-63 with 3:47 to play in the game. However, Marshall scored the final eight points for the win.
Marshall is now 5-4 for the season and 2-0 in MAC action while the Chippewas fall to 3-8 and 0-1 in loop play.
The Chippewas found the range in the second half, hitting 14-of-27 for 51.9 percent, to finish at 40.4 percent (21-of-52). Marshall was good on 42.3 percent of its shots (22-52).
A big difference in the game was the Thundering Herd's 42-30 edge in rebounding, a shortcoming that has plagued the Chippewas all season.
Senior Gerrit Brigitha continued to establish himself as CMU's go-to man. The 6-8 center made 9-of-11 from the field to finish with a game-high 26 points. That performance comes on the heels of a career-high 29-point outing in a win over Tri-State.
Brigitha has made 21-of-23 shots from the field in the past two games to raise his average to a team-high 14.5 points.
However, unlike the Tri-State outing where the Chippewas had six men in double figures, Brigitha was joined by just T.J. Meerman with 11 points.
Marshall had just two players in twin figures – seniors Marvin Black with 20 and Ardo Armpalu 14.
Brigitha also led CMU in rebounds with eight while Eric Smith had nine and Black eight for the Thundering Herd.
Marshall: Marvin Black 6 8-12 20, Mark Patton 1 2-2 4, A.W. Hamilton 2 2-2 7, Ronny Dawn 3 0-1 8, Luther Whitted 0 0-0 0, Eric Smith 2 5-6 9, Enoch Bunch 2 1-3 7, David Anderson 1 1-2 3, LaVar Carter 0 0-0 0, Ardo Armpalu 5 4-5 14. Totals: 22 23-34 72
CMU: Marcus Moore 1 0-0 2, David Hoskins 4 1-1 9, Gerrit Brigitha 9 8-9 26, T.J. Meerman 3 2-3 11, Kevin Nelson 1 3-4 6, Sefton Barrett 0 0-0 0, Robert Sevalia 0 0-0 0, Brandon Voorhees 1 2-2 5, Tony Bowne 0 0-1 0, Steve Harris 0 0-0 0, Joe Carr 1 0-0 2, Adam Dentlinger 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 16-20 63
Halftime score: Marshall 37, CMU 28
3-point shooting: Marshall 5 (Dawn 2, Bunch 2, Hamilton), CMU 5 (Meerman 3, Nelson, Voorhees). Team fouls (fouled out): Marshall 19 (none), CMU 25 (Meerman). Team records: Marshall 5-4 (2-0 MAC), CMU 3-8 (0-1)
Fourteen players scored, six of them in twin figures, in leading Central Michigan University to a wild 124-103 non-league men's basketball victory over Tri-State University here Tuesday night.
The 124 points were the second most in school history and marked only the third time the Chippewas ever allowed 100 points and won the game. It also marked the first time CMU had broken the 100-point barrier since a 106-89 win over Eastern Michigan last season.
CMU is now 3-7 for the season while Tri-State falls to 4-5.
Senior center Gerrit Brigitha was perfect from the floor, meshing all 12 shots he took, to post a game and career-high 29 points.
Sophomore Brandon Voorhees chipped in with a double-double, netting 13 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, while freshman Marcus Moore made his career debut with 12 points. Bagging 11 points each were Kevin Nelson, Sefton Barrett and Steve Harris.
Tri-State countered with five players of their own in twin figures, led by Brandon O'Leary with 20, Micah Williams 19 and Luke Amstutz 17.
The visiting Thunder forced the tempo of the game, firing 38 three-pointers and connecting on 16 of them. CMU was 8-of-20 from behind the arc.
Tri-State used a fullcourt press the entire game and forced 30 Chippewa turnovers while committing 26. CMU had 11 steals and the Thunder 12.
The Chippewas led by as many as 27 points in the first half (45-18) before settling for a 64-46 halftime lead. Sharpshooting Tri-State clawed back to within seven (85-78) with 11:44 remaining in the second half but could get no closer.
CMU managed to build its lead back to 25 points, 124-99, with 2:07 to play but could not score again. The school record of 127 was set in a 127-116 win over Oakland in 1987.