Sophomore guard Crystal Bradford struggled with fouls throughout the women’s basketball team’s 72-60 win at Miami Saturday afternoon.
As a result, she played just 21 minutes.
Still, the Detroit native led the Chippewas with 16 points and 10 rebounds as CMU won just its fourth road game this season.
“We’re 2-2 in conference play on the road, so I don’t want to belabor that we’re on the road,” said head coach Sue Guevara. “I think it’s more important that we hit shots early on the road and stay in the moment defensively.”
CMU had four other players score in double-figures in addition to Bradford. Junior forward Taylor Johnson had 13 points and led CMU with 12 rebounds. Junior guard Niki DiGuilio had 13 points, senior forward Jessica Schroll scored 11 points and senior guard Brandie Baker added 10 points.
“Bradford was in foul trouble in the first half, but we had other people step up,” Guevara said. “That is what has been really good for us.”
Bradford played just six minutes in the first half, so it was DiGuilio, the only Ohio native on the roster, who led the Chippewas early on in Oxford. She made three timely three-point shots and had 11 points at halftime.
“Friday morning, Niki put up close to 1,000 shots,” Guevara said. “She told me when we got on the bus that she felt like her shot was back; today that paid off.”
CMU led by five at halftime, but Miami started the second half on a 4-0 run to cut the lead to one. A fast-break layup tied the game at 37 with 14:07 to go, and a free-throw from senior guard Courtney Osborn gave the RedHawks a one-point lead a minute later.
Osborn, who came into the game second in the MAC in points per game (17.4), led Miami with 19 points, but her free-throw would mark her team’s last lead of the game.
“Courtney got her points, but it was a hard 19 points,” Guevara said. “She had to work for her points.”
The Chippewas would go on a 12-2 run in the next three minutes to make the score 50-40.
Miami would make one final charge and got as close as six, with 2:21 left, but couldn’t stop the CMU offensive attack in the final minutes.
The Chippewas out-rebounded the RedHawks and the MAC’s leading rebounder Kirsten Olowinski (50-36). CMU shot 41.5 percent from the field compared to 37.3 percent for Miami.
“Today was a great team win,” Schroll said. “We had a lot of people in double-figures, and we out-rebounded them. It was a good team effort.”
The Chippewas next game is Wednesday when they travel to Kalamazoo to take on in-state rival Western Michigan. CMU beat the Broncos 72-58 at McGuirk Arena on Jan. 16.