Women's basketball sets sights on Western Michigan, MAC title share
There's a lot on the line as the Central Michigan women's basketball team takes the court on March 6 at McGuirk Arena, but one thing supersedes them all.
It's Western Michigan.
A win for CMU (22-6, 13-3 Mid-American Conference) gives it at least a share of the MAC regular season championship. The Chippewas secured their fourth-straight MAC West Division title with a win at Eastern Michigan on March 2.
They can clinch their third-straight regular season championship with victories over WMU (10-17, 4-12 MAC) on March 6 and Toledo three days later, both home games for the Chippewas.
Currently, Ohio and Miami (Ohio) are tied behind CMU at 12-4 each. The teams square off simultaneously to CMU and WMU. The winner will take a one-game advantage in the East Division heading into the final game.
Should the Chippewas and the RedHawks tie, the top seed in the MAC Tournament would be given to the latter because of their Jan. 16 victory in Mount Pleasant.
If the Chippewas and Bobcats tie for the best record in the conference, the team with the better division record would be given the top seed. The teams split their regular season meetings. CMU holds a 7-1 record against the West Division and Ohio is 6-2 against East Division opponents.
Senior forward Reyna Frost averages 21.4 points and 13.4 rebounds per game this season. She is second in the conference in scoring behind Buffalo's Cierra Dillard, who pours in 25.4 points per game.
The Chippewas will look to Frost, who has 11-straight double-doubles, to do the same against the Broncos.
In the previous meeting against WMU on Feb. 13 at Read Fieldhouse, Frost notched a then-career-high 33 points and secured 20 rebounds in an 87-53 victory.
Behind Dillard and Frost in MAC scoring is senior guard Presley Hudson. She puts in 20.3 points per game and dishes out 5.9 assists.
Hudson, a Wayland native, scored 16 points in the last meeting with the Broncos. She also distributed seven assists.
Sophomore guards Maddy Watters and Micaela Kelly will play critical roles in this game. Watters scored a career-high 24 points in her last outing against EMU by virtue of a career-high seven triples.
Against the Broncos earlier in the year, Watters did not play much of a role – scoring two points. She averages 6.9 points per game.
Kelly, on the other hand, had one of her highest scoring performances coming away with 17 points on 75 percent shooting last time around. She averages 13.9 points and 3.8 assists per game.
The Chippewas will need to key in on Broncos' senior guard Deja Wimby. She is the leading scorer with 13.6 points per game, while sophomore forward Leighah-Amori Wool adds 11.6 per contest.
WMU scores just 61.3 points per game, which is the lowest average in the MAC. It also gives up 65.5 per game, which is fifth in the conference.
The Chippewas and Broncos tip off at 7 p.m. in McGuirk Arena.