Women's basketball routs WMU, clinches MAC West


Junior Guard Presley Hudson pushes past a Western Michigan defender on Jan. 27 in McGuirk Arena.

For the third consecutive season, Central Michigan women's basketball has won the Mid-American Conference West Division regular season championship.

In the second meeting of the year, the Chippewas (23-4, 15-1 MAC) defeated in-state rival Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, 78-62, clinching the outright MAC West division title. 

The win marks the third straight season sweep of the Broncos for the Chippewas, who haven't lost to Western Michigan since February 7, 2015.

"We're MAC West champions, that's a three-peat" said head coach Sue Guevara. "But, the interesting thing is, we never talk about it in the locker room. It's nice, but this team is staying focused, and we would just like to go further (into the postseason) than we did last year."

CMU got out to a hot start against Western Michigan in the opening minutes, out-scoring WMU 33-12 by the end of the first quarter. CMU shot 7-of-7 from three-point range in the first quarter.

"We got rolling pretty good in that first quarter and we were able to attack," Guevara said. 

CMU's hot shooting cooled off in the second quarter, as CMU was out-scored 12-15, shooting just 3-10 from the field and drawing no fouls all half. 

CMU closed out the final two quarters shooting just 25 percent from three-point range and 33 percent from the field. Despite the poor second half shooting, the Chippewas out-rebounded the Broncos 46-22, while knocking down 16 free throws off 20 attempts.

Junior Presley Hudson finished with a game-high 31 points and eight rebounds. Hudson shot 7-of-8 from the three point line. 

Guevara later credited the win to the not-so-hostile environment in Kalamazoo. CMU parents, students, and members of the Sixth-Man Band were in attendance for the MAC West title-clinching game.

"We had a huge contingency, and the Sixth Man Band was even here," Guevara said. "I can't begin to tell you how loud it was when our kids were introduced, it was great.

The seniors of "Team 50" play their final home game in McGuirk at 7 p.m on Feb. 28 for senior night against Ball State (23-4, 12-4 MAC), a team CMU beat earlier on Dec. 30, 69-65.