Women's basketball caps historic season with outright MAC title
Three days after winning at least a share of the conference title, Central Michigan women’s basketball became the outright Mid-American Conference Regular Season Champions for the second straight season.
The Chippewas (25-4, 17-1 MAC) defeated the Rockets (17-13, 8-10 MAC) by a score of 72-67.
CMU will be the No. 1 in the MAC Tournament and the play winner of the eight-seed vs. nine-seed game after earning a first-round bye in the tournament.
“We got Toledo’s best shot today,” said head coach Sue Guevara. “It was senior day, we know the adrenaline was going to be high.”
After falling behind 5-0 early, CMU went on a 12-2 run to take the lead. Presley Hudson scored 10 points in the first half leading the Chippewas to a 22-14 lead after the first quarter.
Toledo cut CMU’s lead to 24-21 early in the second quarter, but Cassie Breen hit a momentum changing three for the Chippewas forcing Toledo to call a timeout.
With just over three minutes remaining in the second quarter, McIntyre hit a layup giving the Rockets their first lead since the first quarter at 34-33.
From there, Toledo started to pull away from the CMU with the Rockets taking a 43-35 lead into halftime.
“I’m really happy with the resiliency of our team,” Guevara said. “I thought the kids answered the bell in the second half.”
After a slow start to the second half, Central Michigan went on a 12-4 run — tying the game at 47 with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Reyna Frost scored four points late in the quarter leading the Chippewas to a 54-51 lead heading into the fourth.
Micaela Kelly scored a quick mid-range jumper sparking a strong start to the fourth quarter for CMU. Frost hit two layups and extended their lead to 68-57.
The Rockets made a late surge cutting the Chippewas' lead to 70-67, but CMU made a big defensive stop with under a minute left sending Hudson to the free throw line. She clinched the game and the outright MAC Title.
“I’m very happy for our seniors and our program,” Guevara said. “Back to back is amazing, it’s hard and our players were able to come through and get it out right.”
Tinara Moore led Central Michigan with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Hudson chipped 14 points and 7 rebounds while Frost had 13 points and 8 rebounds for the Chippewas.
CMU returns to action at noon on Wednesday March 7, in Cleveland for the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament.
“If we start thinking about the next game before we play the first one, we’re in trouble,” Guevara said. “It’s the same type of the approach, it’s one game at a time.”