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Preview: Women's basketball and Buffalo collide again in MAC Tounrament


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The CMU women's basketball team celebrate after forcing overtime against Eastern Michigan on March 13 in Quicken Loans Arena.

For Sue Guevara and Felisha Legette-Jack, this isn't anything out of the ordinary.

The two head coaches with plenty of recent success in the Mid-American Conference have met on this stage before.

The story line this time around — revenge for the Bulls and a sweep for the Chippewas.

In a game that has become a rivalry in a sense, the No. 1-seeded Chippewas (25-6) have owned No. 4 Buffalo (21-9) in 2018-19 by beating them twice. The first CMU won 76-65 on its home floor and then in a scoring entourage downed the Bulls 100-95 in New York.

On March 15 at 11 a.m., all of that will be irrelevant to what happens in the next chapter of this matchup. What will matter is who makes it to MAC Tournament title game.

"I said to our players it is survival of the fittest," Guevara said. "We get 24 hours to enjoy it and then we have to get ready for Thursday. We have to understand what we talk about all the time, it's one game at a time."

While CMU is coming off of its dramatic 88-80 overtime win off of senior guard Presley Hudson's buzzer beater, the Bulls had a blowout 85-62 victory over Kent State. The Golden Flashes topped Buffalo 62-53 to end the regular season.

Regardless of the records coming in, both teams do one thing very well — score the ball.

The Chippewas (80.5 points per game) and the Bulls (75.9 points per game) are in the top three of the MAC in scoring, with CMU in first and Buffalo at third. Where CMU has an advantage is beyond the arc.

CMU shoots the 3-point field goal at 38.5 percent which leads the league. Buffalo meanwhile resides at eighth shooting 31 percent from downtown. Hudson, who had four triples against EMU, leads the MAC with 108 field goals in 31 games (3.5 per contest).

None were like the 3-pointer she made to tie the game against the Eagles, which led her to score 11 points in overtime. 

"In the second half I wasn't attacking enough or doing much," Hudson said. "In overtime, if I got looks, I needed to be more aggressive and take shots."

On the other end of this matchup, is Hudson's opposition — Cierra Dillard.

Dillard is the MAC's leading scorer at 25.2 points per game. In her first two games against CMU she scored a combined 29 points. In the first matchup she downed six 3-pointers.

With lots of scoring expected and a battle between two conference leading point guards, the final matchup of the season between these two heavyweights should have a lot of points.

Senior forward Reyna Frost earned her 28th double-double of the season with 28 points and 13 boards against EMU. She said playing with intensity will be key for the remainder of the MAC Tournament and beyond.

"We knew we had to finish the game in overtime and we did to move on," Frost said. "Now we have to be ready for whatever comes our way Thursday."  

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