In the most thrilling game of the 2017 season the Central Michigan Chippewa's defeated arch rival Western Michigan in a nationally televised game on Friday night. In the 86-82 win in front of a sold out crowd of 5,412 fans at McGuirk Arena it was a tale of 2 halves. Western Michigan came out on fire in the 1st half and couldn't miss a shot literally. They built that to a 53-40 halftime advantage and lead by 14 points in the first half. Things didn't get any better at the start of the second half for the Chippewas either. They found themselves down by 18 points early on in the second half.
It was time for the nations leading scoring back court to get into action. Marcus Keene and Braylon Rayson leading the nation with 50 points per game between them then started to get going. Marcus Keene now has 695 points on the year and he is closing in an NBA alum Dan Majerle single season scoring mark. The Chippewas trailed for almost the entire game only taking the lead in the last 90 seconds of the game. Their first lead came at 80-79 after going on an 11-0 run. For the game Marcus Keene hit the big basket with 12 seconds in the game to seal the win and give him 35 points in the game. Braylon Rayson finished with 20 points for the night.
With the win CMU now moves to 5-5 in conference play and 15-8 overall. Their are seven games remaining in the regular season plus the MAC Conference tourney which gives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament to the winner. The Chippewas don't return home until February 14 for three straight home games against conference foes. They still have an outside chance to win the MAC West Division but are improving and are looking to win the MAC Tournament. The game tonight reminded a lot of the fans in attendance the excitement from the Dan Majerle days at Rose Arena. Their is still some exciting games left at McGuirk Arena this year.