In basketball, 3-point shooting can make or break a team.
This has never been more true than in the case of women’s basketball this season. Entering the Mid-American Conference schedule, the shot from beyond the arc has become the favorite of several Chippewas.
“Throughout the entire year, we’ve been consistent and have been able to pick up a lot of points,” said senior guard Niki DiGuilio. “People like Kerby Tamm and Taylor Johnson have played really well and we have so many weapons to use, which makes us hard to guard.”
CMU has gone 144-for-394 from beyond the arc this season and average 9.6 3-point shots a game. Their opponents, on the other hand, have not looked as if they have wanted to keep up with the deep shots.
Attempting a total of 112 less 3-pointers than the Chippewas, their opponents have tallied a percentage of .333 and have made 6.3 from long per game thus far.
DiGuilio is arguably the leader of CMU’s offensive attack. On a Dec. 30 game against Dayton, DiGuilio broke two university point records. With 14:08 left in the first half, her jumper put her past the 1,000-point plateau .
Then, with 13:39 left in the second half, she made her 231st career 3-pointer, breaking Shonda Long’s record for most in a career.
“I never really think about (the records),” DiGuilio said. “But now that I have it, I look to see just how many more I can get.”
DiGuilio is averaging nearly four 3-pointers a game, owning an impressive shooting percentage of .405 from the arch.
“(DiGuilio) has earned the green light,” said head coach Sue Guevara. “I think anytime she has the ball, she knows she can shoot it. She doesn’t really take a bad shot and, even when she does, we can sit and talk about her decision-making.”
She is not the only CMU player who has enjoyed success from long range during non-conference competition. Junior guard Kerby Tamm went 28-for-64 from beyond the arc this year.
Junior guard Crystal Bradford has not shied away from taking the long shot, either. Bradford hit the game-winning 3-pointer in the Chippewas home opener Dec. 5 against Dayton.
With nothing but conference games left on CMU’s schedule, the team will need to continue such accuracy from long range if they are to bring another MAC Championship to Mount Pleasant.
The Chippewas entered conference play with a record of 4-8 and 3-pointers have been a significant contributor in CMU’s non-conference victories.