Chippewa women's basketball team can win MAC regular season title
Buffalo's Stephanie Reid drove past Tinara Moore to gain a four-point lead against Central Michigan for an 85-82 win against the Mid-American Conference West Division leader.
But, the Chippewas' conference title hopes are still alive.
The Chippewas are 20-4, and 12-1 in the Mid-American Conference. They are the only team with one loss in MAC play.
The Bulls lead the MAC East Division, and some would say they are the Chippewas' toughest competition in the MAC Tournament.
The Chippewas went undefeated in the MAC in 1983-84. CMU was 27-3 overall — going 18-0 in conference. They won the 1984 Mid-American Conference regular season title and MAC Tournament that season.
The last team to go undefeated in the MAC was Bowling Green in 2005-06. The Falcons went 16-0 during conference play before winning three games by double-digits in the MAC Tournament.
During the 1983-84 championship-winning season, CMU scored 82.8 points per game. That was a program record that still stands today. Through 24 games this season, CMU averages 83 points per game.
The Chippewas shoot 79.1 percent from the free-throw line, and 38.9 percent from 3-point range. If they stand, both percentages would be the best in program history.
Individual players are also looking to set career program records this season. Senior forward Tinara Moore has already broken the CMU record for blocks.
Moore is shooting 53.9 percent from the field in her career — trailing just all-time leader Niki Thompkin’s (1991-94) 54.3 percent. This season, Moore is shooting 59.5 percent from the field.
Senior guard Cassie Breen is second in all-time 3-pointers made. Breen is within 30 3-pointers made to break Niki DiGuilio’s (2010-14) record of 288 made 3-pointers.
The Chippewas lead the MAC in points per game (83), free-throw percentage (79.1 percent), field-goal percentage (46.5 percent), 3-point percentage (38.9 percent) and rebounding margin (+7.9).
Moore, a former MAC Defensive Player of the Year, leads the Chippewas with 18.7 points per game. In addition to scoring, Moore leads the conference in blocks (52) and is second in the MAC in rebounds per game (9.6).
The only player who averages more rebounds than Moore is her teammate, Reyna Frost. She leads the MAC, grabbing 11.9 rebounds per game.
Presley Hudson is second on the team and fifth in the MAC in scoring with 18.1 points per game. The junior guard leads the conference in free-throw percentage (92.3%) and 3-pointers made (86).
Moore and Hudson sit fourth and fifth in career program scoring, respectively.
With records on the horizon, CMU has just five regular season games remaining.
On Feb. 17, CMU hosts Eastern Michigan. The Chippewas defeated the Eagles 95-72 in Ypsilanti earlier in February.
CMU then faces Northern Illinois at McGuirk Arena for their second matchup of the season. On Jan. 17, NIU almost soiled CMU's attempt at an undefeated conference season. CMU escaped DaKalb, Illinois with an 81-78 victory.
The Huskies are third in the MAC in scoring, averaging 78.4 points per game. Northern Illinois’ Courtney Woods leads the MAC in scoring. The junior averages 21.9 points per game.
After NIU, the Chippewas travel to rival Western Michigan on Feb. 24.
WMU led CMU with under a minute remaining, but Breen hit a 3-pointer to take the lead. CMU hit a couple free-throws while the Broncos tried to save time, but the Chippewas escaped with another close win.
“It’s great everyone else is treating this like a rivalry,” said head coach Sue Guevara before facing WMU in January. “For us it’s just another game that we have to play, and it just so happens to be against the Broncos.”
WMU has the second-best scoring defense in the MAC — allowing just 65.6 points per game. The Broncos are 7-6 in the MAC, and third in the MAC West Division.
Last season, WMU shocked No. 1-seeded CMU in the quarterfinal round of the MAC Tournament.
It does not get any easier for the Chippewas as they face Ball State on Jan. 28 at McGuirk Arena. The Cardinals are 9-4 in the MAC and sit second behind CMU in the MAC West Division.
CMU defeated Ball State, 69-65, to begin the team’s current 13-game win streak on Dec. 30.
Although the Cardinals scored only 65 points in the first matchup, BSU boasts one of the top offenses in the MAC.
The Chippewas hit the road to face Toledo in their regular season finale. CMU dominated the Rockets 85-47 in the first matchup.
“We still have a lot to work on,” Guevara said earlier this month after defeating Toledo. “We are always going to try and chase perfection.”