Women's basketball plays two in Miami Holiday Classic

Head Coach Sue Guevara talks to her team during a timeout on Dec. 20 at McGuirk Arena.

Two games in two days cap off the nonconference schedule for the Central Michigan women's basketball team.

Both events go down in the Miami Holiday Classic in Coral Gables, Florida. Coach Sue Guevara's group takes on Tulane at noon Dec. 29 and No. 24 Miami at 4 p.m. Dec. 30 before ringing in the near year, which includes the beginning of Mid-American Conference play.

"We can compete with some of the best teams in the country," Guevara said. "And I think we are a pretty good basketball team. These kind of games prepare us for March. That's what it's all about."

CMU is ranked No. 5 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25. Other MAC teams on the list include Buffalo (No. 6), Ohio (No. 8) and Toledo (No. 4). One of CMU's two losses is to South Dakota State, which is ranked No. 2. 

Besides South Dakota State, the Chippewas' other falter was a 72-68 loss to No. 3 Louisville at McGuirk Arena on Dec. 20. CMU senior forward Reyna Frost registered 22 points and 13 rebounds in the game, earning herself MAC West Player of the Week. She leads the conference with eight double-doubles in 2018-19.

"I couldn't have asked for much more, except maybe a few more shots to go in," Guevara said after losing to Louisville. "With the tenacity we played with for 40 minutes, I'm happy with the effort. I'm never happy with losing."

The Hurricanes are 11-2 and are looking to continue a five-game winning streak. On Dec. 20, Miami picked up a 25-point victory against Vanderbilt, which the Chippewas took down by nine on Dec. 15.

Coach Katie Meier's team is paced by junior forward Beatrice Mompremier, who towers over opponents at 6-foot-4. She leads Miami with 15.3 points per game and 11.5 rebounds. The Hurricanes rank No. 29 in the nation on the glass and are 13th-best with a 39.1 3-point percentage.

Back on Nov. 15, Mompremier tallied career highs in points (24), rebounds (21) and field goals (10) in a 63-55 victory against Marquette. She became the sixth Hurricane with 20 boards in a game and tied for fourth on Miami's single-game list. 

Miami has been to the NCAA Tournament in seven of the last eight seasons. The Hurricanes have 20-plus victories in eight of the last nine seasons, and Meier was named the 2010-11 AP National Coach of the Year.

Tulane, on the other hand, owns an 8-3 record but has dropped two of its last three games against Alabama by 11 points and Old Dominion by eight.

The Green Wave is 34th in the nation with a 36.6 3-point percentage and holds opponents to just over 25 percent shooting from downtown, ranking 25th in that category. 

For the Chippewas, the 3-point shot is a key piece of their offense. Led by senior guard Presley Hudson, the group makes 41.4 percent of 3-point opportunities and 49.7 percent of field goals overall. Hudson averaged 22.3 points per game, which ranks No. 9 in the country.

“Three-pointers are going to happen,” Hudson said. “If I’m open, I’m going to shoot it.”

Frost averages 16.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per contest.

"First off all, there's the size of the heart and there's no fear," Guevara said of Frost. "That's half the battle. She's put in the work, and that's the bottom line."

The Chippewas return to Mount Pleasant to open MAC action at 1 p.m. Jan. 5 against Akron. The Zips are 8-2 this season.