Bench shows muscle in dominating victory

Kent State guard Ashley Evans fails to block sophomore guard Jessica Green as she jumps up to shoot during the first half against Kent State Thursday night at McGuirk Arena. CMU won 91- 44. Kaitlin Thoresen/Staff Photographer

The bench stepped up once again in a dominating victory against Kent State providing depth and insurance for the women's basketball 91-44 win.

The offense struggled early, and the bench provided the spark that led to a blowout win for CMU.

"Lets talk about the balance, lets talk about the bench," Guevara said. "The bench has been a factor in practically every game we've played."

The Chippewas bench has outscored their opponents by nearly 400 points this season and has helped during keys moments in games all season long. In every game, but one, CMU’s bench has out-performed its opponent.

"I think I talk about this every single game, and I think that's a really, really good thing," Guevara said. "Kerby Tamm came in off the bench and hit some threes for us early, I thought Jas'Mine Bracey did a really nice job, especially against the size that Kent State had. I thought Jalisa Olive came in and gave us a spark with some threes and Da'Jourie Turner came in with her defense. That's just four players, I could go down the line."

The game started out slowly against the Golden Flashes, but once junior forward Taylor Johnson, sophomore forward Jas’Mine Bracey and senior guard Jalisa Olive entered the game, it all changed.

It was 10-8 at the 13:06 mark in the first half when Olive knocked down a deep three-pointer, putting the Chippewas up 13-8, setting the tone for a 19-6 CMU run over the next seven minutes.

Contributions came from everywhere, including Johnson and Bracey.

Johnson had eight points in the first half, including two three-pointers; she finished with ten points. She also had a career-high 25 points on Jan. 19 against Northern Illinois and has led the Chippewas in points two of the last four games.

This is one of the deepest teams in program history, with many players whoare capable of stepping up and filling roles needed to secure victories.

"(The bench) did really good," said Green. "When you have subs come in, you want them to come in and produce and not just go through the motions. We talk about in practice that our bench needs to produce and keep on producing."

Bracey sat out her first game of the season on Saturday against Akron but came back with ten points in the first half against KSU, while bringing down three rebounds. She finished with 11 points and five rebounds, her second-best scoring output on the season. The sophomore is a force, both on the boards and scoring in the post, averaging six points and five rebounds on the season.

Throughout the second half, the starters rested and the players off the bench had an opportunity to show what they can do. The offense continued, and the defense was still stout. CMU’s bench outscored the Golden Eagle 56-20.

Veteran leadership and disciplined defense comes from Olive, who can shoot the three and control the flow of the game when needed. Olive finished with 13 points against KSU, her third-best scoring output of the season.

Sophomore Kerby Tamm had one her best games of the season, scoring nine points against the Golden Flashes. She had fifteen points, a season-high, on Dec. 17 against Robert Morris and Nov. 23 versus South Dakota State.  Tamm was three-of-seven from three-point range against KSU, where she is always a threat to score each game.

The Chippewas will look for the bench to contribute Sunday when they have a 1 p.m. tip-off at perennial Mid-American Conference power Bowling Green.


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