Rock men’s basketball finished the game how they started against the Central Michigan University in a 91-74 loss on Saturday.
The game’s opening and closing 10 minutes was in favor of the Chippewas, who opened the game with a 25-8 lead. That gap would be ended by a Rock offensive surge led by redshirt junior Khyree Wooten.
The guard from Philly scored 12 points in the Rock’s 31-18 push before the half ended. Wooten finished with 20 points shooting 57.1% (8-14) from the field and knocking down two three-pointers. He also had 4 rebounds and a block.
Wooten’s performance was nearly matched by redshirt senior forward George Chase. Chase scored 19 points off the bench and played well on defense, grabbing seven rebounds and coming up with two blocks.
Their efforts would help The Rock stay in reach of winning, allowing Central Michigan to a single-digit lead for majority of the second half. But SRU could not hold on in the final minutes of the game. CMU went on 12-2 run that The Rock couldn’t overcome.
The Rock shot well for most of the night. SRU shot an impressive 85 percent (17-20) from the freethrow line. The team shot 43.5 percent (27-62) from the field to Central Michigan’s 48.1 percent (26-54). Though from the field they were nearly identical, CMU outscored The Rock from behind the arc. The Chippewas made 12 three’s compared to three by SRU. Most of those came from junior guard Marcus Keene.
Keene, who attended Youngstown State the previous season, made all five of his three point attempts and had an outstanding game high 32 points. He added five assists and a steal to his night.
While The Rock did not beat either of their division I opponents over the weekend, they did show glimpses of potential. In each game, The Rock out-hustled their opponents grabbing more rebounds and leading in second chance points. SRU outrebounded CMU 40-30 and scored 22 points off of 18 offensive rebounds.
They also improved in shooting and turnovers, shooting an almost 10 percent better average from the field and cutting their turnovers in half from the previous game from 30 to 13.
With the final exhibition game played, The Rock’s season will officially begin next game.The first game of the season that will count towards their record will be against no. 7 Wheeling Jesuit (WV).
SRU will play the Cardinals in Shepherdstown, WV at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11.