With a battle for first place looming on Sunday against Toledo, the women’s basketball has a match-up with rival Western Michigan today.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at University Arena in Kalamazoo.
Head coach Sue Guevara knows her team cannot look past the Broncos, who sit fourth in the Mid-American Conference West and would love to spoil the Chippewas match-up with the first place Rockets on Sunday.
“The biggest game we’re about to play is on Wednesday,” Guevara said.
WMU comes into the game during one of the best stretches of their season. Winners of three in a row, including a home win against Bowling Green, it will be a tough test for CMU.
“Western Michigan plays really hard,” said head coach Sue Guevara. “They get after you and they’re playing with a great deal of confidence right now.”
The Broncos have struggled for most of the season, but are getting better as the regular-season comes to a close. After losing three in a row, they beat Kent State and went on to win against the Falcons. BGSU is No. 2 in the MAC East and the win couldn’t have come at a better time.
After the win against the Falcons, WMU traveled to Ohio and picked up its third-consecutive win.
“It’s going to come down to our defense and our rebounding,” Guevara said. “Their guards do a really nice job of rebounding the basketball, so the challenge will be down to ours.”
A key to the Broncos recent success has been sophomore forward Marquisha Harris and freshman forward Miracle Woods. Their size (5-foot-10, 5-foot-11) allows them both to gather rebounds and make scoring in the lane difficult.
Harris is No. 2 in the MAC in field goal percentage (.543), No. 5 in rebounding (7.5) and averages almost a block per game (0.9), which is good for ninth in the league. Combined with Woods, who is No. 8 in blocked shots (1.0), the duo makes up one of the better post defenses in the MAC.
“They start their two big kids inside,” Guevara said. “So keeping them off the boards will be key.”
In addition to the rest of the team, the Chippewas will look to their leading rebounders, sophomore guard Crystal Bradford (10.7) and senior forward Jessica Schroll (5.7), to control the glass.
After winning two and losing two, Guevara said her team can play well on the road and will look for them to do so against Western Michigan.
“I think our lesson was learned, that this is about us,” Guevara said. “Going on the road, it’s just another color in the arena, that’s all it is.”
CMU’s offensive production has been solid all season, averaging a MAC-best 76.6 points per game. Bradford has continued to show why she is arguably the best player in the MAC, leading the conference in rebounding (10.7) and No. 2 in scoring (17.5). She is also averaging 4.1 assists, 2.3 steals and is No. 2 in blocked shots (1.8).