If there was ever a team that needed a win to end a week it was the CBU Lancers men’s basketball team. Yes, the Lancers already had one Power 5 win under their belt. A second win would just be icing on the cake.
Unfortunately, despite battling back to force overtime, the Lancers could not get that second Power 5 win.
Taran Armstrong’s 3-pointer hit back iron in the loss to Minnesota on Monday. And the Lancers free throw shooting woes came back to haunt them in a three-point loss to Southern Illinois in the title game on Wednesday at the SoCal Challenge.
So, getting back to the CBU Events Center was a nice way to finish out Feast Week.
Saturday afternoon the Lancers welcomed Central Michigan (picked to finish 10th in MAC preseason coaches voting), looking to right the ship before Wednesday night’s Crosstown Showdown against UC Riverside.
After a choppy first half performance, the Lancers held a 33-31 lead behind seven points and three rebounds from Riley Battin. Taran Armstrong added eight rebounds, five points, and three assists for CBU. Brian Taylor had 14 points and five rebounds to keep the Chippewas close after 20 minutes.
Taylor connected on a jumper with 16:57 left which made the CBU lead 1 at 38-37. Then, with 14:54 left, Jesse Zarzuela’s 3-pointer tied the game at 42 and another Zarzuela basket put Central Michigan up 44-42 with 14:16 left.
Reed Nottage answered with a 3-pointer for CBU to put the Lancers back in front 45-44 with 13:51 left. Zarzuela again tied the game at 48 with 12:12 left.
That would be the game’s last tie. CBU went on a 22-9 run covering about eight minutes to take a 70-57 lead with 4:27 left.
The Armstrong brothers finished it as Taran converted a layup and Tre connected on a 3-pointer. Taylor hit a jumper with just over a minute and a half left. But, by that point, the damage had been done and CBU finished Feast Week with its fourth win of 2022-23.
“All credit to Central Michigan for making that a very choppy first half,” CBU head coach Rick Croy said. “But our guys rose to the occasion in the second half and played the way we’ve been practicing.”
Leading the way for CBU was Hunter Goodrick who had 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists in 27 minutes. Tre Armstrong added another 14 points and hit four 3-pointers in 26 minutes. Rounding out the double digit scoring Lancers was Riley Battin with 12 points and six rebounds in 17 minutes of play.
For the Chippewas, Taylor had 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists in 37 minutes. Zarzuela added 16 points with six assists and never left the floor.
CBU (4-3) welcomes UC Riverside (5-2) on Wednesday night. The Highlanders won an MTE in Vegas over the holiday break. One of the wins was against Abilene Christian in that event.