Bradford earns second straight MAC West Player of the Week honor


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Earning her fourth Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week this season, Crystal Bradford has shown just why she is deserving of the title.

The honor is the 11th of Bradford's career, which leads all active players in the MAC. This has been her second consecutive week earning the honor.

In competition this season, Bradford has shown her ability to embrace the role of the leader bestowed upon her by head coach Sue Guevara and her teammates. Whether it is landing a game-winning shot as time expires, or improving her fundamentals week-to-week, Bradford knows she has to fulfill her role as a playmaker to be successful.

“I try to lead by example and just do the little things that the younger players will look up to,” Bradford said.

Her example speaks for itself. Bradford became just the fourth player in program history to record a triple-double. She also has produced nine double-doubles-a league best.

Bradford, a native of Detroit, is 18th in the nation with 11.1 rebounds per game. She also ranks 36th in the NCAA in scoring, with 20.1 points per game.

Bradford

Among the MAC, she ranks third in scoring, first in rebounding and seventh in assists through the first half of the season.

The week Bradford was given the award, Central Michigan defeated Akron. Bradford scored 15 points, 12 rebounds and four assists against the Zips.

Performances such as these, including a more physical, defensive showing in the Jan. 15 victory over Northern Illinois, exhibits the dynamics of her game extend beyond just scoring points.

In the win against the Huskies, Bradford went just 1-5 from 3-point range, but that did not seem to worry Guevara. Citing team play and defensive positioning, the head coach of the Chippewas knows her team’s leader well.

“I think she (Bradford) is doing a better job of letting the game come to her,” Guevara said. “Her ability to finish has really gotten better with the ability to penetrate and give the ball off to other people has improved. She’s also very hard to box out.”

Even with her borderline domination of opponents, Bradford still tries to keep the focus on making the team better.

“We have some younger kids on the team like Jewel (Cotton) that I try to talk to and make sure we have good communication,” Bradford said.

Basketball is a game where talking and communication on the floor is a must, and those who do not step up and communicate with one another suffer poor team chemistry that can cause losses to pile up. Bradford recognizes this and applies it to her own team, which traditionally runs a zone defensive scheme.

“We play the 2-3 a lot on defense and, when a team does that, you really need to talk to each other and communicate,” Bradford said.

The Chippewas will have their work cut out for them, as conference play begins to escalate. CMU will play at noon on Saturday at McGuirk Arena.


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