Men’s Basketball Defeats Cal State Northridge 82-66

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, California.—Central Michigan achieved season highs for field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage and braced the defense by recording an impressive 82-66 men’s basketball victory over Cal State Northridge in the consolation game of the Venue Twin SoCal Challenge on Wednesday night.

On offense, the Chippewas shot 55 percent from the floor (29-53), 43 percent from 3-point range (6-14), finished with 19 assists on 29 field goals, and scored 42 points in the paint. Defensively, the Chippewas held Cal State Northridge to 35 percent (21-60) shooting and scored 17 points on Matador turnovers.

Junior Sharpshooter Jesse Zarzuela led the Chippewas with a career-high 21 points as he converted 8–13 field goals and 4–7 three-pointers. Senior guard/attacker Brian Taylor contributed a career-high 19 points on 8-15 shooting and four rebounds, and junior forward Carrington McCaskill recorded the first career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Kevin Miller made his comeback after missing Monday’s game against High Point. He finished the day with 18 points, six assists and four rebounds in a full 40 minutes of action.

Central Michigan (2-3) took the lead in the first half with a 9-0 run and defeated CSUN 12-2 in the final 4:47 to take a 31-23 halftime lead. Zarzuela scored eight of CMU’s last 12 points, including two three-pointers and a layup. Zarzuela gave CMU the lead, 25-23, on a 3-pointer at 3:50, Miller followed with a layup, and Zarzuela scored on another layup with 40 seconds left. A McCaskill dunk made it 31-23 Central Michigan at the buzzer.

Central Michigan’s offense was fueled by its defense in the first half as the Chippewas held CSUN to 17 percent of shots (9-35).

During the second half, CMU did not relinquish the lead. CSUN’s Atin Wright hit a fast break 3-pointer to cut the Chippewas’ lead to three points at 37-34 with 16:42 to play, but that was as close as they came. The Chippewas answered with back-to-back layups by Miller and Taylor. Two minutes later, back-to-back layups through Miroslav Staffl, one on a pass from Zarzuela and the other on a quick break from Miller, pushed the lead back to nine points (48-39) with 12:34 left to play. Later, a 3-pointer from Miller gave CMU a 10-point lead with 10:04 left to play.

With the productive attack, the Chippewas kept their lead and held off CSUN the rest of the way. Two Miller layups and a Taylor layup gave CMU a 14-point lead late in the game and the final score was Central Michigan’s biggest lead of the day.

Wright led Cal State Northridge with 21 points on 5-12 shooting and 9-10 free throws, while De’Sean Allen-Eikens finished with 13 points.

Staying on the West Coast, Central Michigan returns to action on Saturday, November 26 when it travels to Riverside, California to take on California Baptist (3-2) for an 8pm ET/5pm PT matchup. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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