Basketball / Sports

Women’s basketball saved by strong second halves this season

Junior Crystal Bradford puts up a shot Jan. 18, 2014 in McGuirk Arena. Chippewas won 82-79 in double overtime.  (Morgan Taylor | Staff Photographer)

Junior Crystal Bradford puts up a shot Jan. 18, 2014 in McGuirk Arena. Chippewas won 82-79 in double overtime. (Morgan Taylor | Staff Photographer)

Women’s basketball has thrived in the second half of their games this season, being more productive in the second half than every conference opponent they have faced thus far.

The Chippewas have won the second half in eight of their 17 games this season.

This situation played out Saturday in McGuirk Arena, as things looked bleak heading into halftime, trailing Bowling Green 32-24.

“After that first half, I thought, ‘You can’t win a game in the first half, but you can surely lose it,’” said head coach Sue Guevara. “We were just turning the ball over too much, trying to make something happen that wasn’t there.”

When the team came out for the second half, it was a completely different story.

CMU outscored BGSU 46-38 in the final 20 minutes, shooting 48.6 percent from the floor to beat the Falcons, 82-79, in overtime. This was not the only second-half comeback the Chippewas  have completed this season.

“So far, we have been (a second-half team),” Guevara said. “I’ve been searching for the answers as to why. I’ve changed up our warm-up with how I warm (the players) up.”

The stats prove that the Chippewas are faster to end a game than they are to begin it.

Saturday’s win was the ninth time CMU was behind at the half this season and the team is 3-6 with a halftime deficit.

Though their record may be below .500 in those situations, the Chippewas are a strong second half team on both sides of the ball.

The Chippewas have scored 54 percent of their total 1,393 points in the second half this season. They average 44.6 points in the second half, compared to 37.3 points in the first.

When the Chippewas offense can score more than 44 points in the final 20 minutes, they are 6-2 and have never scored less than 31 points in the second half.

Strong defense has also aided the women’s second half efforts.

CMU has allowed fewer than 40 points in the second half eight times and are 7-1 when they do so.

The stellar shooting of the Chippewas also comes to life in the second half. CMU has shot 44 percent from the floor and 35 percent from behind the arc this season. The team has also shot more than 40 percent in 12 games.

CMU’s dominance in the second half is undeniable, but Guevara remains puzzled as to what can be done to help the Chippewas play stronger out of the gate.

“I’ll prepare a halftime speech before the game. Maybe that will help,” she said.

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