Chippewas blow halftime lead at Eastern Mich.

By Staff
Central Michigan University frittered away three 12-point leads in dropping a 71-68 Mid-American Conference men's basketball battle with Eastern Michigan University here Saturday afternoon.
The Chippewas led 42-30 with 1:32 to play in the first half before settling on a 42-32 edge at the break. CMU also led by 12 in the second half at 47-35 and 49-37, the last one coming at 17:16.
However, EMU kept clawing back in the second half and took its first lead at 61-60 with 7:03 remaining. The Eagles then claimed the lead for good at 69-68 with 43 seconds to play.
The Chippewas had one last chance to tie it on the final possession but T.J. Meerman's three attempt was off the mark.
The loss was CMU's third in a row, dropping its record to 3-10 for the season and 0-3 in MAC action. Eastern Michigan is now 6-5 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
The Eagles overcame 23 turnovers for their second straight win, buoyed in a large part by a 39-28 edge in rebounding. John Bowler had a game-high 12 caroms for EMU while Niles High School graduate Gerrit Brigitha countered with 11 for the Chippewas.
Brigitha stole game-high scoring laurels with 24 points, 19 coming in the first half. Three more Chippewas reached double digits with David Hoskins, Meerman and Kevin Nelson meshing 10 apiece.
Markus Austin led EMU with 21 points followed by James Jackson and Bowler with 11 each.
Frigid shooting from behind the three-point line helped doom CMU as it netted just 4-of-19 for the game for 21.1 percent. The Chippewas hit on 24-of-56 shots from the floor for 42.9 percent shooting for the game.
The Eagles hit 46.3 percent from the field for the game, dropping 7-of-16 from behind the three-point line for 43.8 percent.
The 6-8 Brigitha kept his hot streak going in the last four games. He's now scored 29, 26, 29 and 24 in those outings, connecting on 41-of-52 from the floor.
CMU next hits the road for a Wednesday MAC contest at Ball State. The Chippewas then play at Bowling Green on Sunday before returning to Rose Arena for a Wednesday, Jan. 21, contest with Miami University.
Eastern Michigan….71
Central Michigan…..68
EMU: James Jackson 4 3-4 11, Markus Austin 6 5-7 21, John Bowler 4 3-4 11, Michael Ross 1 0-1 3, Ricky Cottrill 1 0-0 2, JaQuan Hart 2 0-0 4, Danny McElhinny 2 2-2 8, James Douglas 4 0-0 8, Craig Cashen 1 0-0 3, Dan Redder 0 0-2 0. Totals: 25 14-20 71
CMU: Marcus Moore 4 0-0 8, David Hoskins 3 3-4 10, Gerrit Brigitha 10 4-8 24, T.J. Meerman 2 4-4 10, Kevin Nelson 3 3-4 10, Sefton Barrett 0 0-0 0, Robert Sevalia 1 0-0 2, Brandon Voorhees 0 0-0 0, Tony Bowne 0 0-0 0, Steve Harris 0 0-0 0, Joe Carr 0 0-0 0, Adam Dentlinger 1 2-2 4. Totals: 24 16-22 68
Halftime score: CMU 42, EMU 32
3-point shooting: EMU 7 (Austin 3, McElhinny 2, Ross, Cashen), CMU 4 (Meerman 2, Hoskins, Nelson). Team fouls (fouled out): EMU 21 (none), CMU 17 (none). Team records: EMU 6-5 (1-2 MAC), CMU 3-10 (0-3)

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