Despite losing sophomore guard Jessica Green the women’s basketball defeated Western Michigan 77-53 on Thursday night setting up a first-place match-up with Toledo.
Green went down at the 17:00 mark in the second half, holding her left knee as she was carried off the court. At that point she led the CMU with 16 points. She didn’t return for the remainder of the game.
Sophomore forward Crystal Bradford joined two other Chippewas in double-figures, scoring 21 points and 10 rebounds, her 11th double-double of the season.
“We knew we wanted to come out and play hard,” Bradford said. “We knew Western (Michigan) was going to come in with some momentum coming off three-straight wins. We want to play everyone hard the rest of the season so we can seed well come tournament time.”
Head coach Sue Guevara said she liked her team’s aggressive play both with rebounding the ball and scoring in the paint.
“I thought we did a much better job of finishing at the rim,” Guevara said. “We really were looking to attack the offensive glass, and I thought that really benefited us. We had 15 second-chance points off 19 offensive rebounds. I thought our kids did a nice job of not looking ahead but focusing on the task at hand.”
CMU began the game fast as it got out to a 13-4 lead at the 16:17 mark in the first with Bradford leading the way with eight points in the first seven minutes.
The Broncos took advantage of some of the Chippewas turnovers, getting to within two points at the 7:43 mark. They grabbed their first lead of the game at the 5:14 mark after a three-point basket from freshman guard Alex Morton.
That lead didn’t last long; CMU went on a 5-0 run with baskets from Baker and Green putting it up 35-31. Baker finished with 11 points and five rebounds for the game.
At the half, the Chippewas led 38-35. They shot 43.6 percent from the field, while WMU managed to shoot 44.8 percent.
Green and Bradford both led CMU throughout the first half. Bradford contributed with 10 points and five rebounds, while Green led with 14 points in the half.
The Broncos freshman forward Miracle Woods led all players in the first half with 16 points.
The Chippewas began the second half just as they did to begin the game with a hot shooting start. They went on a 7-0 run, increasing their lead to ten, 45-35, at the 17:52 mark.
“We made some adjustments for the second half, and it really worked for us defensively,” Guevara said. “We held them to 18 points in the second half.”
Defensively, CMU stepped up as WMU was only able to score 15 points in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
Guevara said her team’s ability to force turnovers and limit them was key throughout the game.
“I thought we did a good job of taking care of the ball,” Guevara said. “We only had eight turnovers and caused 23.”
The Broncos were never able to overcome the Chippewas offensive attack as they went on an 18-4 run to end the game.
CMU will come home for two straight games, beginning with division leader Toledo on Sunday.