Women's basketball lets lead slip in 74-78 loss to Marquette

Sophomore guard Crystal Bradford attempts to stop a drive from a Marquette player during the second half of Tuesday's game against Marquette at McGuirk Arena. Bradford finished the game with 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists and one block and a steal.

Women’s basketball lost to Marquette to finish the non-conference schedule thanks to clutch shooting late that let the Golden Eagles slip by Central Michigan 74-78.

The Chippewas went on a 16-8 run to end the half thanks to some good defense and three-point shooting, going 4-for-10 in the half. Sophomore guard Crystal Bradford had 12 points at halftime and CMU went into the locker room leading 37-27.

But, Marquette came storming out to begin the second half. A 15-5 run sparked by junior forward Katherine Plouffe brought them all the way back to tie the game at 42 with 15:25 remaining in the half.

“They went to a little bit of a zone on us,” said head coach Sue Guevara. ”We put Jalisa (Olive) in and Jalisa busted that out, but I thought we had some very questionable shot selection, we had key turnovers at tough, tough times and it snowballed on us.”

The Chippewas would keep the Golden Eagles close and tied the game at 72 on a three-pointer from senior guard Jalisa Olive with 49 seconds remaining in the game.

But Marquette would have an answer. After a timeout, sophomore guard Arlesia Morse hit a three giving it a 75-72 lead.

CMU was able to get the Marquette lead down to two with eight seconds left on a rebound and put back by sophomore guard Jessica Green bringing the score to 76-74, but that would be as close as it would get as the Golden Eagles would hold onto the win.

“It was a very disappointing loss but give Marquette a lot of credit,” Guevara said. “We had out-rebounded them in the first half 24-9 and I knew they were going to come after us with everything they had and they did."

Bradford led the Chippewas with 21 points and 8 rebounds while Olive chipped in with 15 points including a trio of three-point baskets.

This game wraps up CMU's non-conference schedule as they start conference play with a 6-7 record.

“We put together a hellacious schedule,” Guevara said. “I had someone tell me this past summer that I have a lot of estrogen to put a schedule like this together for this team. But my response was, this will only get us ready for conference, it has to.”

The Chippewas open Mid-American Conference play on Jan. 10 at Toledo.

“The bottom line right now is that we’re 0-0,” Guevara said. “It’s time to start over and that’s the beauty of it.”