Women's basketball wins MAC West Division in 87-60 blowout of EMU
On a pass from senior guard Presley Hudson, Maddy Watters pulled up from beyond the arc and found nothing but net less than two minutes into the game for a 5-3 lead.
Little did anyone at the Convocation Center know, Saturday would end as a career afternoon for the sophomore guard.
Watters went 7-for-11 from the 3-point line for a career-high 24 points, pacing the Central Michigan women's basketball team to an 87-60 victory over Eastern Michigan on March 2 in Ypsilanti.
The Chippewas (21-6, 12-3 MAC) have now secured the Mid-American Conference West Division regular season title and earned a first round bye in the upcoming MAC Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena. The Eagles dropped to 12-14 overall and 5-10 in conference play.
Senior forward Reyna Frost put in 21 points and 14 rebounds, while sophomore guard Micaela Kelly threw in 21 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the 3-point line. Off the bench, sophomore forward Kyra Bussell chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes.
While Watters was tickling the twine from deep, Hudson was ice cold. She finished with seven points, three rebounds and six assists, making just one of eight 3-point attempts.
But Hudson's productivity wasn't a concern for coach Sue Guevara's group, as Watters helped carry the Chippewas to a 27-point victory.
CMU went up 17-13 after the first 10 minutes and held EMU to just six points in the second quarter – two free throws from Corrione Cardwell, a layup from Autumn Hudson and a bucket inside from Courtnie Lewis.
Meanwhile, Watters was just warming up from the 3-point line. Five combined triples from the Chippewas handed them a 40-19 edge at halftime.
EMU redshirt senior guard Danielle Minott, who played for Syracuse in the 2015-16 season, was a rare non-starter for the Eagles. Her reason for early absence is unknown, but she eventually entered the game and contributed 25 minutes.
Minott averages 13.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists and even poured in 43 points against Buffalo on Jan. 9. However, she was ineffective against the Chippewas, finishing with six points on 3-of-11 shooting.
In the third, it was more of the same from CMU. Frost knocked down a short jumper with 2:49 remaining in the frame for her fifth consecutive 20-point game. Her basket also gave the Chippewas a 58-42 lead.
Watters capped off the third on a 3-pointer for her 18th-point, matching her career-high. Even though CMU was up 64-49, it didn't take its foot off the gas for the fourth quarter.
Of CMU's 23 points in the fourth, six came from Watters – two 3-point makes. EMU was outscored by 12 points in the final 10 minutes, and the Chippewas picked up an 87-60 victory on the road.
The Eagles were led by Cardwell's 18-point, five-rebound, three-assist effort. As a group, coach Fred Castro's team was 2-of-11 from beyond the arc.
The Chippewas finish up the 2018-19 regular season with back-to-back home games against Western Michigan (7 p.m., March 6) and Toledo (1 p.m., March 9) before heading to the MAC Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio.