Women's basketball wins six straight, Moore breaks blocks record
Despite losing its leading scorer for the majority of the first half, Central Michigan women’s basketball picked up its sixth straight win to remain perfect in the Mid-American Conference.
The Chippewas (14-3, 6-0 MAC) defeated Northern Illinois (10-7, 2-4 MAC) 81-78 in DeKalb, Ill.
With 6:29 remaining in the fourth quarter, senior Tinara Moore recorded her 172nd career block to set a new CMU career record.
“It’s cool knowing I put my stamp on CMU women’s basketball,” Moore said.
Midway through the first quarter, Presley Hudson received her second foul sending the junior to the bench early. CMU felt the loss of her scoring presence ending the quarter trailing 19-14.
“We were a very resilient basketball team tonight,” said head coach Sue Guevara. “It’s next woman up.”
After failing to put the ball in the basket early in the second quarter, Central Michigan found success late in the first half with forwards Moore and Reyna Frost. Despite finally finding their offensive groove, the Chippewas trailed 37-34 due to back-to-back 3-pointers from NIU’s Courtney Woods to end the half.
“You saw the versatility of our scoring with Tinara (Moore) and Reyna (Frost),” Guevara said. “If you’re going to take away the three we’re going to be able to go inside.”
Once again, CMU fed off offensive rebounding scoring 10 second chance points keeping the game close in the first half despite shooting an unusual 0-8 from three.
Micaela Kelly sank Central Michigan’s first 3-pointer of the game early in the second half. As the back and fourth affair continued, Kelly stole the ball and laid it in to give the Chippewas a 44-43 lead with 6:00 remaining in the third quarter.
“Micaela Kelly came in and did a really nice job of finishing for us,” Guevara said. “She did a great job penetrating.”
CMU finished out the third strong outscoring the Huskies 28-19 in the quarter.
Coming out of an early fourth quarter timeout, Northern Illinois went on a 6-0 run to tie the game at 62 with 8:14 remaining.
With 1:33 remaining, Kelly continued her hot night hitting a huge 3-pointer giving Central Michigan a 78-72 lead.
After the Huskies cut the lead to one, Hudson hit two free throws with 5.4 seconds remaining to give the Chippewas an 81-78 lead.
“Winning that game was really big,” Moore said. “I’m super proud of my team for getting that win.”
Kelly led all Central Michigan players with 22 points. Frost scored 19 in addition to a team-high 13 rebounds (10 offensive), and Frost had 18 points and 9 rebounds.
The Chippewas will remain on the road heading to Akron on Saturday looking to win their seventh straight game.