The Central Michigan women’s basketball team outscored Bradley 46-32 in the second half and won their first game of the season 73-58.
CMU’s largest lead of the first half came six minutes into the game when they burst out to an 11-4 run after baskets from sophomores Jessica Green and Crystal Bradford, junior Niki DiGuilio and freshman Da’Jourie Turner.
Head Coach Sue Guevara said she liked the way the team moved the ball and the amount of people who carried their load.
“We spread it around … it’s tough to just focus on one or two people and it was good how we spread the wealth around a little bit,” Guevara said. “I thought we had a lot of people who really contributed on offense.”
CMU lead by one point at halftime, 27-26. Green led the Chippewas at the half with seven points, while Bradford led with six rebounds.
A jumper by senior Brandie Baker with 21 seconds to go in the first half put her over 1,000 career points, making her the 21st player in CMU history to reach that milestone. With this win, Guevara reached 200 in her career with 77 coming at CMU and 123 at Michigan.
Bradley had its first lead 13 minutes into the game after junior forward Kelly Frings drained a three. The Chippewas regained it quickly with back-to-back three pointers from senior Jalisa Olive and DiGuilio with 3:32 to go in the first half.
Guevara said playing together with good chemistry is important.
“I thought we played well together,” Guevara said. “We had a lot of players play minutes, which is what we need for us to play at the pace we want to play at.”
The second half was a different story for CMU, as it shot over 54 percent from the field and slowly increased its lead. Bradford led the team in points (12) and rebounds (5) in the second half. She finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds – her 12th career double-double.
The largest lead of the game came with 4:28 to go after Baker scored on a lay-up to put the team up 66-50.
Bradley was never able to mount a comeback as they shot only 29.9 percent from the field in the second half and were outscored in the paint 44-14 in the game.
CMU scored 44 points in the paint and Guevara credited that to players’ ability to finish at the basket.
“Our offense is productive on the dribble-drive and we had players finish,” Guevara said. “I liked how Crystal, in the second half, was able to get to the high post and then drive to the basket.”
The next game for CMU will be Sunday in Evanston, Ill. at Northwestern. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.
CMU lost to Northwestern 69-60 last season in its home opener at McGuirk Arena.