Coach Zeilger preaches “think tough be tough” as his team motto, at the home opener of the new CMU events center one team on the floor played the way Coach Z loves. The problem is, it was the road team. Temple used their size to play more physical then the home standing Chippewas and got every rebound, every lose ball, and made all the hustle plays to come back from a ten point deficient, 41-31, in the second half to win by 12, 65-53. CMU started off strong much to the delight of the sold out crowd in attendance as senior Jalin Thomas’ hot shooting gave CMU a early lead. Thomas had a big day and finished with a career high 26 points, including 6 three point makes, but didn’t get much help. CMU had to work so hard to get any look and in the second half it worn on them, as they shot only 34% from the floor, Temple shot 62%. Temple pressured CMU all night long and use their physical play to frustrate the Chippewas. CMU played well for awhile but they are not ready just yet to compete with a good team like Temple, who was ranked in the top 25 until they lost to Cal last week. Temple’s big 3 of Juan Fernandez, 18 points, Ramone Moore, 16 points, and Lavoy Allen, 13 points 10 rebounds, was too much for CMU.
Freshmen star Trey Zeilger struggled with how physical Temple played him all night and he had his worse game so far as a Chippewa, as he only had 5 points in 36 minutes on 2-11 shooting. Senior Amir Rashid had 11 points for CMU, as he was the only other Chippewa player in double figures, in fact Zeigler was the third highest scorer with his 5 points. CMU will have another chance to beat a team from a bigger conference on Saturday against Depaul. Depaul is coming off a two point win over another MAC team, NIU, and is a team with a new coach and a lot of new players that should give CMU a chance to get a road win against a BCS conference team. Much like last year when CMU beat big east team South Florida on the road. Depaul is another bottom of the big east team that gives CMU a chance to get a win.
Depaul will poise some of the main problems as Temple as they have some size, and will look to go inside. CMU will have to rebound better then it did on Wednesday night to come away with a road win on Saturday, but I am sure Coach Zeigler and the Chippewas are preparing to do that. CMU has one win in Chicago already this year at UIC, but a second win on the road in the windy city should be a little harder.
About the Author
Written by Steve Schwanda
Proud 2006 grad of CMU. Chippewacountry.com basketball analyst, I love and follow most sports, but I follow basketball the most. Coached and worked camps for 8 years. Favorite pro teams are: NY Giants, Detroit Pistons, Tigers, and Wings