Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CMU-Ball State Gameday

I am here in lovely Muncie, Ind. for today's game with the Chippewas and Ball State. Tonight's game is one of the biggest CMU has had in a number of years with a chance to get into a tie for first place in the MAC West with a win and a Western loss. CMU is healthy and everyone is available for tonight's game. Word is that CMU's shoot around was solid and that the guys are hungry and ready to play. Stick with the blog for updates throughout the game.

-15:51 left in the first half. CMU up 6-4. The Chips look calm and collected to start. I expected them to come out a little crazy because of what is at stake, but that hasn't happened. Laron Frazier has all four Ball State points and his speed is going to be tough to defend tonight.

-8-8 tie at the 10:06 mark. CMU's defense has been solid so far but the offense has been pretty putrid. Jeremy Allen stepped in and had two bad turnovers, including passing up a wide open 3-pointer with two seconds left on the shot clock which results in a turnover. But, Allen just hit a running jumper to stop a 6-0 Ball State run. The refs are letting CMU play physical, which is big, the Chippewas have just one foul 10 minutes into the game.

-7:26 to play in the half. Ball State is up 12-10. Again, CMU's offense is struggling. The Chips are not shooting too bad at 5-for-12, but six turnovers have been big. Right now it seems like a lot of guys are trying to do things that are simply not in their arsenal.

-3:45 left in the first half and the score is 16-14 for the Cardinals. Fouls are few and far between right now. The Chips could use a few calls but careless turnovers have kept them from the lead. Frazier is probably the best player on the court tonight. He has great speed and quickness and is causing matchup problems.

-25-14 at halftime. CMU didn't score for the final five minutes of the half. Brandon Lampley scored the last seven points of the half, including a jumper at the buzzer. Ball State is on an 11-0 run right now and Marcus Van limped off the court with 45 seconds to play. Turnovers are killing the Chips, they have 12 for the game and are just 7-for-18 shooting. CMU was playing good defense until the final minute, but can overcome this lead if they focus more on offense.

-14:50 left. Ball State up 32-24. It has been a crazy first five minutes. Antonio Weary picked up four fouls in less than two minutes. He opened with a charge, then got called for a reach and picked up a technical in the process and then got another reaching call at the 18:09 mark. The fouls are getting out of hand. CMU has had 11 called on it to just three the entire game for BSU. Van literally got pulled down on a rebound and no call was made at all. Robbie Harman is picking this team up and putting it on his back as he has scored all 10 points in the half to keep the Chippewas in the game.

-13:56 left and CMU is about to take its first free throw attempt of the game. CMU hasn't attacked the inside a lot this game, but in my opinion this free throw is long overdue. Too bad it is the Chippewas' worst free-throw shooter, Jacobly Hardiman, taking the shots. Score is 32-26 now after a nice pair of defensive stops.

-11:49 to go, BSU up 36-30. Harman is heading to the line and has 13 in the second half. Ernie is working the refs over the fouls, which has moved up to 7-5 in the half for BSU but is still 12-7 for the game. Jacolby missed a pair of free throws that could have made it a two-possession game. The Chips are still playing with some fire, but Ball State has been able to render Bitzer and Van useless on offense thus far. Harman is trying to do it all himself, which is admirable, but he needs help.

-7:39 to play and BSU is ahead 41-34. Harman just hit a 3 pointer and has 17 in the second half, but I think it is too little too late. The Cardinals are in the double bonus and nobody aside from Robbie is stepping up. Van has four fouls and is on the bench, but if I am Ernie Zeigler, I put him in now while you still have a shot to make a game of it. If you save him for later, there may not be anything to save by the time he gets in.

-3:53 to go, BSU up 45-40. Van fouled out just seconds after stepping on the floor. CMU was playing small but had to bring Brandon Ford in after giving up a pair of offensive rebounds. Ball State missed four-straight free throws and Harman missed a good look at three just before the media timeout. Harman is trying to do it all and you have to admire his effort, but if CMU wants to win, they need a team effort on offense.

- 1:01 to go, BSU up 47-42. This one would be hard to see going the way of CMU now. A couple of missed shots and the 16th turnover for the Chippewas is really what spelled CMU's doom.

-53-44 final for Ball State. CMU had just four players score and Van was scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting. Harman did all he could but aside from him, nobody else stepped up in this disappointing loss.



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