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Men’s hoops set to take on CMU

On the front end of a two-game road swing, the men’s basketball team (11-4, 5-2 in conference) plays tonight at Central Michigan (7-9, 2-6), who has lost five of their last six games.

The Falcons are coming off an emotional 70-69 win over Toledo, in which they came back from a 17-point halftime deficit, and are looking to build on a solid start to MAC play.

“For us, [Central] is a really dangerous game coming off of the game we just had,” said BG head coach Dan Dakich. “It’s going to take a very mature group going up to Central to be able to play well. My guess would be Central would play exceptionally hard, they always do, and I think they’ve always been one of the hardest playing teams in our league.”

The Chippewas lost Saturday to Akron 95-56 as the Zips drained 15 three’s.

The 95 points given up by Central comes as no surprise as they have been unable to slow down opposing offenses this season, allowing a MAC-high 76 points per game.

Although they’ve had their struggles defensively, CMU features a lineup that can make plays on offense and get contributions from anyone on the court.

“Central is a very athletic team that has a number of guys that play very similar,” Dakich said. “With their athletic ability and quickness, particularly out on the perimeter, (Central) is a tough match. In my opinion, they have four or five guys that are capable of scoring a lot of points in a particular game.”

Kevin Nelson has consistently been the Chippewas leader offensively, averaging 17.8 points per game, which trails only BG’s Josh Almanson (17.9 PPG) for tops in the conference, and is tied with Western Michigan’s Levi Rost for most three’s made with 54.

Another problem for the Chippewas this season has been their inability to stick with teams early in contests.

Up to this game, they have been outscored by 75 points in the first half.

BG got out on teams quickly at the beginning of the season, but has seen their play in the early going diminish over the last couple weeks.

“If we play the way we played in the first half (against Toledo), it’ll be really, really difficult to make a comeback,” Dakich said. “You can’t come out and try to win the game in five minutes, but you can’t come out thinking, ‘Well we’re just gonna show up here, play and then the game will go on,’ because the other team’s gonna come out after you.”

Forward Germain Fitch will be a game time decision after tweaking his oft-injured knee during the celebration on the court after the Toledo game.

Fitch, who was apparently hit from behind and fell, has been unable to stay healthy during his career at BG and will not be rushed to return to the lineup until he is fully recovered.

Following this game, BG will play Ohio University in Athens on Saturday before returning home to face Akron on Thursday, Feb. 3.

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