Bowne Leads Chippewas to Victory Over NIU

Tony Bowne scored off the opening tip and nine of Central Michigan's final 12 points in leading the Chippewas to an 83-74 Mid-American Conference win over Northern Illinois University Monday night at Rose Arena.

The win snapped an 11-game losing streak for Central Michigan (4-18, 1-11 MAC), while the Huskies fell to 7-14 and 2-9 in MAC play with the loss.

Bowne led three Chippewas in double figures, matching his career high with 19 points and CMU scorched the nets for a season-high 14 three-pointers.

"I thought Bowne won the game down the stretch in the last four minutes of the game," NIU head coach Rob Judson said. "We were up 72-71 and he hits a big three. Central had been waiting for a game where they hit some threes."

It was that three-pointer by Bowne with 4:00 remaining that started a 14-2 CMU run and put the Chippewas up for good, 74-72. Kevin Nelson (15 points) then drilled his fifth three-pointer of the game from the left corner with 3:02 left and CMU never looked back.

"The work Kevin Nelson and Tony Bowne have been putting in paid off for us," CMU head coach Jay Smith said. "I'm proud of the way our kids played on one day's rest. The difference is we took care of the basketball and made shots."

The Chippewas converted an astounding 14-of-27 shots from behind the arc with David Hoskins making 5-of-8 and Nelson 5-of-9. Hoskins contributed a career-high 18 points before fouling out with 7:28 remaining.

A total of 53 fouls were called in the game, 29 on CMU and 24 on NIU. In all, five players fouled out, including Hoskins and Gerrit Brigitha for the Chippewas.

"It played in our hands, the 53 fouls," Smith said, citing the one day's rest his team had to prepare for the game.

Anthony Maestranzi led the NIU scoring attack with 19 points followed by Paige Paulsen with 14 and P.J. Smith with 10. The Huskies played without leading scorer and MAC-leading rebounder Marcus Smallwood who did not make the trip.

The Chippewas are idle until a Saturday game at the University at Buffalo. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.

"This win is a confidence builder," Smith added. "When you're struggling, you've got to remain positive."


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