MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Trey Zeigler scored a game-high 22 points but Texas A&M-Corpus Christi outlasted Central Michigan to take a 49-47 win away in Saturday's Sears ESPN BracketBuster game.
At the midway point of the second half and with the game tied for the sixth time, the Chippewas (8-18) and the Islanders (5-21) traded leads for the next three and a half minutes. A three-pointer by the Islanders at the 7:18 mark sparked a 7-1 run and proved to be too much for a short-handed Chippewas team to overcome.
Central was never far out of reach, coming within one possession on several occasions and cutting the deficit to one with 49 seconds left. After forcing a ill-timed three-pointer on the Islanders' next possession, the Chippewas milked the clock for a last-second field goal attempt, but Derek Jackson was called for an offensive foul driving the baseline with five seconds remaining. The Islanders were then able to extend their lead back to five by converting all four free throws.
"We just couldn't make enough plays on offense to put ourselves in a position to win," said CMU head coach Ernie Zeigler. "We had a lot of great looks and our kids executed our stuff. We just didn't have that third guy to step up tonight."
The Chippewas were without starting point guard Austin McBroom and backup guard Finis Craddock, and lost Olivier Mbaigoto to an injury in the second half.
Zeigler went 8-of-16 from the floor and 6-of-8 from the line while Derek Jackson added 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting. John Morris led all players with six rebounds. No Islanders scored in double figures but all nine players found their way into the scoring column.
As part of the BracketBuster series agreement, Central Michigan will pay a return visit to Corpus Christi, Texas, next season.
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