Women's basketball survives scare at Ohio, remain perfect in MAC play
The Central Michigan women's basketball team might not have expected this effort.
In the first meeting between the Chippewas and Ohio on Jan. 3, the Chippewas made quick work of the Bobcats — defeating them 82-58 in McGuirk arena.
The rematch on Feb. 7 at Ohio wasn't nearly as easy for CMU as the Chippewas escaped a late game surge by the Bobcats to take home their 11th conference victory 74-72.
"We got stops when we needed stops, and that was down the stretch," said head coach Sue Guevara. "We just able to grind it out."
Junior Presley Hudson led the Chippewas offensively with 22 points and four assists. Senior Tinara Moore and junior Reyna Frost both picked up their 11th double-doubles of the year scoring 18 and 16 points, respectively, along with 15 rebounds, each.
CMU remained perfect in Mid-American Conference play at 11-0 and improves to 19-3. Ohio fell to 12-10 overall and 6-5 in the MAC.
CMU turned the ball over 22 times allowing for 26 points off turnovers for Ohio. Guevara later credited Ohio's solid defensive performance to their guarding techniques.
"They (Ohio) were really looking to face-guard and I don't think we moved real well off the ball," Guevara said. "Our ball-handlers got the ball, put their head down and tried to get through two people instead of looking up and passing the ball down the floor."
CMU made 11-of-18 free throws, an area where the Chippewas have been consistently one of the best in the nation at — shooting 80 percent.
"This is the same team that would shoot 90 percent from the free throw line," Guevara said. "Free throws are all mental, and I think we have to go back to being able to execute down the stretch."
The two-point win was CMU's narrowest margin of victory all season. Guevara expressed how satisfied she was to see her team keep their composure even when Ohio took the lead early in the fourth quarter.
"I thought they responded very well," Guevara said. "There was not a panic when Ohio took the lead."
Immediately after Ohio took over with a one point lead with 9:53 to go in the fourth quarter, Frost drilled a mid-range jumper from the elbow and CMU would keep the lead throughout the remainder of the game.
Guevara stressed that a game as tight as this will pay in dividends going forward in postseason tournaments as they are able to get in-game experience in close, high pressure situations.
"Every kind of situation is going to be good for us right now as we move further on into February and March," Guevara said. "We're going to be able to execute when we need to."