Records fall as women's basketball clinches share of MAC title
In a night with no shortage of records broken, the Central Michigan women's basketball team defeated Ball State, 88-80, to clinch a share of the Mid-American Conference regular season championship in McGuirk Arena.
It marks the first time in 33 years that CMU (24-4, 16-1 MAC) has won back-to-back regular season titles, along with being the 200th victory for Sue Guevara as the head coach in her 11th season for the Chippewas.
'I've just been really fortunate to have some very good players," Guevara said. "I've never gotten a rebound or shot a free throw."
Despite the win, the chance to pick up their second straight conference title wasn't looking great for the Chippewas, who trailed by as much as nine early in the fourth quarter.
Senior Cassie Breen, who was playing her final game in McGuirk as a Chippewa, entered the fourth quarter shooting only 1-for-10 from 3-point range. Entering the game, Breen was just two three-pointers away from tying the women's basketball program record for career three-pointers.
After hitting a 3-pointer in the first quarter, Breen went cold. However, just as she did against Western Michigan on Jan. 27, the shots fell when she needed it most.
Trailing 76-73 in the fourth quarter, Breen scored eight points in the final three minutes of the game. She nearly single-handedly diminished Ball State's lead with two triples and one jumpshot.
"My teammates are so great, Tinara and Presley give me the passes and never give up on me," Breen said. "That's what makes us such a good team because we all have each other's backs."
In addition to win No. 200 for Guevara, two other CMU women's basketball program records were broken against Ball State.
Breen became CMU's career 3-point leader with 289 made 3-pointers. While the milestone is special to her, she stressed there's still much work to be done.
"My thoughts on the records, I mean, it's on to the next one," Breen said. "Celebrate now, but we're looking on to Toledo."
Junior Reyna Frost eclipsed 1,000 career rebounds. She moved to No. 6 in the all-time rebounding rankings.
"I just knew I had to do my role to help the team get the win and get a win for the seniors," Frost said.
The graduating senior class for the 2017-18 CMU women's basketball team has achieved a three-peat MAC West Division Championship and now two consecutive MAC Regular Season Titles.
Breen talked about how emotional it was for the seniors who played their final game in McGuirk and came out with another championship.
"It was a good team win, that's why we're so emotional and that's why this championship is so sweet," Breen said. "It wasn't a blowout. It was hard work. This is something we've worked on for four years."