Women’s basketball was able to show its superior depth as it beat a short-handed Ohio team 77-48 for its fifth-straight Mid-American Conference win.
The Bobcats had to enlist the help of two athletes from their volleyball and field hockey teams so that they would have enough substitutions for the game. Ohio was able to keep it close early in the first half but the Chippewas depth was too much as they cruised to another win.
CMU’s bench came up big outscoring the Bobcat’s bench 35-11. Junior forward Taylor Johnson came off the bench for another big game, scoring 13 points and adding seven rebounds.
“Today, (Guevara) was talking about me going in there and getting rebounds,” Johnson said. “So basically most of my points came off put-backs, and Crystal Bradford gave me a ton of assists.”
Rebounding was a key to the game for the Chippewas as they out-rebounded the Bobcats by 20 (54-34).
Although she had a somewhat quiet game, sophomore guard Crystal Bradford was a big contributor to CMU’s rebounding numbers, grabbing 14 and adding 10 points for her fourth consecutive double-double.
But, for head coach Sue Guevara, it all came back to the bench and the Chippewas dominating effort.
“Our bench responded after the Western (Michigan) game and did a much better job for us in the Northern Illinois game,” Guevara said. “One of our goals every single game is our bench must out-score and out-rebound the other team’s bench.”
Another big bench contribution came from sophomore forward Jas’Mine Bracey scoring 12 points with seven rebounds.
The first half started slow with both teams struggling with turnovers. But, soon CMU was able to start converting Ohio turnovers into points.
With just over eight minutes left in the half the Chippewas went on a 15-2 run to increase their lead to thirteen by halftime, leading 35-22.
“I was a little heated in the locker room at halftime,” said Guevara, “I thought we were playing too much one-on-one and we were frustrated, and unfortunately, that frustration carried over to the defensive end of the floor.”
Although Bradford had a low scoring game, she was able to play well in the second half and made adjustments that helped her team win. She was able to make scoring opportunities for her teammates and rebound effectively after having a frustrating first half.
“Crystal is getting better every single game,” said Guevara. “She has matured, and, on the defensive end of the floor, she has got better and will continue to get better.”
Also having solid games was sophomore guard Jessica Green and senior forward Jessica Schroll. Green had 11 points with four rebounds and three assists going five of nine from the field with a three-pointer. Schroll had a tough night shooting, but still scored 10 points and added four rebounds and three blocks.
Mid-American Conference East leader Akron comes to McGuirk Arena at 2 p.m. Saturday in what will be a showdown of MAC East versus West.