Twice last year Central Michigan got the better of UB Men's Basketball with second-half surges. This season, with both teams sporting significantly different lineups from last year's MAC Final, UB emerged victorious 74-61 behind strong games from Jarryn Skeete, Blake Hamilton and Willie Conner.
To this point, UB hadn't won a game in which point guard Lamonte Bearden tallied four or more assists, and with the star point guard sitting out due to a foot injury, Jarryn Skeete and CJ Massinburg wan the point for Nate Oats. Skeete had a marvelous game - he finished with 13 points, 12 assists and only 2 turnovers. Skeete's first points of the game didn't come until late in the first half, but by that point he had already tallied 5 assists, dishing to several of his teammates, most notable was Nikola Rakicevic.
UB built a 10-3 lead early behind threes from Hamilton and Conner; but CMU used a pair of Josh Kozinski threes to build a 14-10 lead. However, that would be the only lead that CMU would get as UB used threes from Rakicevic and Nick Perkins to pull ahead and regain momentum. Jarryn Skeete nailed a three pointer at the buzzer to give UB a 10 point lead heading into half.
In the second half UB was led by 10 points and 7 assists from Skeete to propel them to victory. UB was able to overcome a litany of turnovers to pull away from the Chippewas with a stingy defense that held CMU to 26 percent shooting from downtown and 36 percent shooting from the field.
Rakicevic and Perkins would each finish with 8 points off the bench and Ikenna Smart had a solid game as well finishing with a career-high tying 9 points and 7 rebounds. Massinburg finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds.
The men hit the road next week for an East Division showdown with Miami.