MOUNT PLEASANT - Nine first year players weren't the only new look on the court as the Chippewas…
CMU Defeats Marygrove in Exhibition, 77-38
"Tonight was a great atmosphere," said head coach Ernie Zeigler. "Hopefully it was a prelude to the community bringing that atmosphere to McGuirk Arena. Along with our student section we have a chance to have a great sixth man with everyone rallying around this team.
"We talk a lot about taking good shots and making plays for each other. (Trey) had three assists in the first half and he made some good plays because he understands a good shot and a bad shot."
The Mustangs got on the board first but the Chippewas led the remainder of the way, holding Marygrove to just 11 points in the first half and keeping the Mustangs scoreless for the last 8:14 to take a 43-11 lead into the locker room.
The Chippewas' 8-7 lead just under five minutes into the game stretched to 17 with a 16-0 run over the next six and a half minutes. Central Michigan committed just six turnovers in the first period and held Marygrove to 16.7 percent shooting from the field (4-24) while hitting 54.5 percent of its attempts (8-of-33).
"I thought particularly in the first half we came out with a great sense of purpose and focus," Coach Zeigler said. "We had really good rotation defensively and our defense got us out in transition well. And we took care of the ball in the first half. Overall we had good balance offensively and we did a really good job with our pressure in forcing turnovers."
The second half was a closer battle, but the Chippewas outscored the Mustangs, 34-27, thanks to solid contributions off the bench, including Derek Jackson's 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting after halftime.
Four Chippewas scored in double digits. Jackson ended the night with 15 points and a game-high five steals while starter Jalin Thomas scored 13 and grabbed a team-best six rebounds, and Andre Coimbra contributed 10 points off the bench, going 2-for-2 from long range.
"This was a step in the right direction," said Coach Zeigler. "We have a long way to go and we have a really young team that is about to go through the rigors of playing on the road. Hopefully we can gain some confidence as we get ready to become road warriors."
The Chippewas open the season next weekend at the Rainbow Classic.
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