The women’s basketball team opened McGuirk Arena Friday by giving thanks to their parents for Thanksgiving.
Faithful fans came out to support Central Michigan as it defeated South Dakota State 88-62, improving to 2-2.
“It was fun to be home and see familiar faces, and our fans really appreciate us and the way we play the game,” head coach Sue Guevara said.
The Chippewas won both halves of the game, outscoring SDSU 40-28 and 48-34.
“I was pretty please with the way that we played,” Guevara said. “I thought we played a much better brand of team basketball on both ends of the floor. They had three or four shot clock violations and Taylor Johnson took four charges.”
The Chippewas held their opponent to zero points until SDSU finally scored its first point on a free-throw with 13:55 left in the half.
“The depth of our team really came through today; we had five of us in double-digit points, and we were just working the ball and making the extra pass,” sophomore guard Crystal Bradford said. “Defensively, we were talking; we were just in sync with each other.”
Guevara made adjustments to the starting lineup and at practice following last week’s loss, and she attributed the start of tonight’s game to those changes.
Though Bradford did not start, she also came through for the Chippewas, scoring 21 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
“I think I had a pretty efficient night … defense and offense worked pretty well,” Bradford said. “I think I played a pretty solid game.”
The second half of the game started out a little slow for CMU as it came out with more turnovers than points before the first timeout was called.
“I was a little worried about the start of the second half,” Guevara said. “I felt like we were trying to force things inside.”
After a couple made jumpers from players off the bench, the Chippewas found their rhythm again and were able to get some fresh legs off the bench.
Five players recorded double-digit points and the team’s three-point percentage was at 50 percent.
“When we’re home, our confidence is always up more,” Bradford said. “I think we just needed a home game to get our three-point, cause we haven’t been shooting well. It got our first home game out of the way; got all the jitters and nerves out of the way.”
The win gives CMU momentum as they prepare for Notre Dame Thursday.
“Right now, we are going to enjoy this game before I start watching film on Notre Dame tomorrow,” Guevara said.
Notre Dame is on a four-game win streak and has an All-American guard in senior Skylar Diggins.
“They’re a big team; they know how to win, and they know how to win on the road,” Guevara said. “They have to lace em’ up just like we have to. I anticipate our kids are going to be ready for them, and we’ll have a game plan for them.”