MOUNT PLEASANT, Michigan — Rayshawn Simmons scored a career-high 30 points and Braylon Rayson added 28, and Central Michigan opened the season with an 89-83 win over Jacksonville State on Friday.
The Chippewas shot 52 percent from the field, made 31 of 41 free throws and knocked down eight 3-pointers.
Simmons and Rayson, who finished two points shy of his career-best, helped make up for the absence of last season's leading scorer Chris Fowler (16.2 points a game). Fowler, a senior and four-year captain, started every game in his career, a streak that ended at 94. John Simmons, who ran his streak of starts to 95, had 10 rebounds for the Chippewas.
Central Michigan led 43-32 at halftime and pushed it to 19 midway through the second half.
Malcolm Drumwright led the Gamecocks with 26 points before fouling out. Jared Hamilton added 16.