Feb. 15, 2005
MOUNT PLEASANT -- It was payback time Tuesday night in Rose Arena.
In one of the biggest turnarounds in college basketball annals, Central Michigan University pulled an 84-74 men's upset of arch-rival Western Michigan University before a noisy crowd of 2,413.
Just 17 days ago in Kalamazoo, WMU ran roughshod over the Chippewas by a score of 84-39.
CMU made up those 45 points and 10 more in putting a halt to an eight-game Mid-American Conference losing streak. The Chippewas are 8-15 for the season and 3-12 in MAC play.
The Broncos, tops in the MAC West entering the game with a 9-5 MAC mark, are now 16-9 for the season and 9-6 in the conference.
Those two made quite a different this time around.
Nelson, nailing 7-of-11 threes, posted a game-high 23 points followed by the 6-6 Barrett who poured in 20. He was true on three-of-four threes.
WMU also put four players in twin figures, led by Levi Rost with 17, Joe Reitz 16 and Brian Snider 15.
The Chippewas led by as many as eight points in the first half at 20-12 with 11:46 to play before WMU battled back to take a 37-36 halftime lead.
CMU took the lead for good at 41-39 on a Nelson three-pointer with 19:13 remaining.
The Chippewas built the margin to 12 points, 70-58, with 7:25 to play before WMU fought back to three, 70-67, with 5:26 remaining. CMU went back up by seven, 74-67, with 4:25 to go but the Broncos battled back to four, 75-71, with 3:05 left. That was as close as Western got.
CMU shot a blistering 56.6 percent from the field on 30-of-53. That included 14-of-22 from behind the three-point line for 63.6 percent.
The Broncos hit on 36.2 percent of their shots, 21-of-58, and just 6-of-24 from behind the three-point line.
WMU did hold a 38-30 edge in rebounding with Rost pulling down nine. Tom Pantlind led CMU with eight.
CMU returns to Rose Arena on Saturday for a Bracket Buster game against Cleveland State at 2 p.m.