Sue Guevara after loss to Buffalo: 'If anyone has $10,000, I'll tell you how I really feel'
Following a loss, Sue Guevara is always the type of coach who will give credit to the opposing team for how it played to land Central Michigan a defeat.
While she did credit Buffalo for how it played, there was a sense of a sour tone coming from her opening statement following a 82-77 loss in the semifinal round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
But it wasn't directed at the Bulls; it was toward the officiating.
"I'll tell you what, you give Buffalo all the credit in the world, they know how to shoot free throws," Guevara said. "When one player takes more free throws than my entire team, she knows how to make free throws."
That player Guevara eluded to was the MAC's leading scorer Cierra Dillard, who finished with 30 points, of which 22 came in the second half.
Eleven of those points came from the free throw line in 12 attempts. CMU, which could only watch her net one after another, totaled nine free throws for the game. Buffalo, as a team, tallied 16 attempts, seven of them coming in the final quarter.
Sophomore guard Micaela Kelly was forced to the bench in the first half with two fouls. She was given the task of guarding Dillard but, according to Guevara, was never able to do so with her full ability for the remainder of the game.
"You never know how it was going to be called, you just didn't know," Guevara said, as she fumbled to find words. "We put some size on her with Reyna, we put Maddy on her, we doubled off of Anika.
"But yeah, when you have to sit (Kelly) in the first quarter and then she does the same thing she did in the first quarter and the third and fourth without a call, so it is what it is."
Regardless of how the first three quarters went for CMU, the start of the fourth quarter appeared it would make up for everything.
The Chippewas ripped off a 15-2 run to open the final 10 minutes and forced the Bulls into a timeout, putting CMU ahead 68-64 with 5:53 left in the contest.
Back-to-back trips to the MAC Tournament title game was becoming a reality.
Then, Dillard took it away from them.
The Bulls' senior star scored 10 points in the final quarter, registering three and-one plays. For the game, she had six of them. She took advantage of every extra point try besides one.
In a five point win, those 11 free throws were critical to sending CMU back to Mount Pleasant and keeping the Bulls in Cleveland.
Senior forward Reyna Frost was at a loss for words, not knowing who won the rebounding battle, which is a stat she would seldom not know as a player who prides herself on it.
When asked about the physicality Buffalo brought, Frost was interrupted by Guevara before she could respond.
"That's an understatement," Guevara quipped.
"Yeah, the refs were letting us play," Frost replied.
"On one end," Guevara snapped back.
"Yeah, It was a good battle," Frost said. "They got some good calls and we were just struggling down in the post on our end. We were fighting for the boards. We lost the rebounding battle so that's a big important part of it, too, but credit to Buffalo for that."
By the end of the press conference, Guevara pressed both hands on the table to lift herself from her seat.
With a smile that was clearly holding back a multitude of true thoughts and emotions, she had one last statement as she left Quicken Loans Arena for the final time in 2019.
"If anyone has $10,000, I'll tell you how I really feel."