Women’s basketball was able to survive a slow start to continue its Mid-American Conference domination, but might not be so fortunate against opponents in the NCAA tournament.
“I thought we played uninspired in the first half, but we responded in the second half,” said head coach Sue Guevara. “If we continue to start slow, teams like Oklahoma will have no problem with us.”
With a 74-63 victory over Buffalo, the team’s winning streak and undefeated conference record now stands at 11 games.
During the win, CMU adjusted its defense to control the Bulls attack. While Buffalo was able to get inside and score points in the paint, the Chippewas controlled their game from beyond the arc.
Buffalo shot 17.8 percent from 3-point range for the day.
“We had Kerby (Tamm) hitting big threes and we had our attackers penetrating, so I think our offense opened up for us to do well today,” said junior guard Crystal Bradford.
The physical aspect of the Chippewas game was prevalent in the victory over the Bulls.
Junior forward Taylor Johnson fought for rebounds and hit the court in front of a supportive McGuirk Arena crowd. Shortly after the beginning of the second half, Johnson snagged an offensive rebound and took an opposing player down to the court with her.
“(Johnson’s) been struggling, but she’s still putting in the effort, so I thought she did a great job for us today,” Guevara said.
Continuing the trend of crashing the offensive and defensive glass was junior Jas’Mine Bracey. Offensively, Bradford and company struggled through sloppy first-half shooting from the field before turning things around in the second.
Both Bradford and Bracey tallied double-doubles during Sunday’s win. It was Bracey’s fifth consecutive double-double. She had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Bradford finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. She was three assists shy of what would have been her third triple-double this season.
Junior guard Kerby Tamm had 18 points and shot .625 from 3-point range.
“In the second half, we started to pick it up and run into transition better which let us have some good looks,” Tamm said.
As the winning streak and undefeated conference record continues, the Chippewas will have six days off before taking on Miami on Saturday, Feb. 15. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.