It was a tale of two halves Wednesday.
Women’s basketball struggled in the first half but played strong on both ends in the second half and defeated the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 54-50 Wednesday.
CMU shot 29.6 percent in the first half and was 0-for-11 from three-point range, while UW-GB managed to hit five shots from long distance. Sophomore guard Crystal Bradford led all Chippewas in scoring with a career-high 23-points while also pulling down a season-high 13 rebounds for the double-double.
“Finishing the game was the big thing,” head coach Sue Guevara said. “I thought we sustained it for 40 minutes. We weren’t great in the first half, but we didn’t quit; we didn’t stop fighting, and there was no panic.”
Matching the physicality of the Phoenix was going to be an important part of this game, and Guevara showed that by switching up her lineup at the half and attacking the boards. Her switch worked as the Chippewas went on a 21-5 run to begin the half, led by a 14-point outburst from Bradford.
“We were better when we were attacking,” Guevara said. “We changed up our defense … we played more of a man-to-man and got good size on their shooters because we had a little bit of a bigger and quicker lineup.”
Senior guard Brandie Baker said she knew they had to come out in the second half and play a more physical brand of basketball.
“Coach told us to just keep pushing,” Baker said. “We knew we had to come out in the first four minutes very hard because they were going to come out hard.”
UW-GB struggled shooting in the second half, managing only 31 percent in the half, while CMU shot 52 percent from the field and was 6-for-10 from three. The Phoenix couldn’t match the Chippewas intensity on both offense and defense and was out-rebounded in the second half, 23-14, while shooting only 1-for-12 from three-point range.
Sophomore guard Kerby Tamm started the second half for CMU by hitting a three-pointer and cutting the lead down to five for UW-GB. Bradford then went on to make three-straight three-pointers, putting her team up 32-30 and giving the Chippewas their first lead of the game. She was 5-for-5 from three in the second half.
Baker said she thought this win did a lot for the team’s mentally moving forward.
“This win does a lot for us, it gives us a lot of confidence,” Baker said. “We put our other loses to the side and moved on to the next game. This is a big win for our team.”
CMU will be back in action at 6 p.m. on Dec. 17 when it hosts Robert Morris.