Women's basketball falls in closing seconds to Michigan State in NCAA Tournament
Presley Hudson had done it again.
With 20 seconds remaining, CMU's senior guard drained another clutch 3-pointer in the weighing moments of a close game to give the Chippewas an 87-86 advantage over Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
However, the Spartans redshirt junior guard Shay Colley had the final answer.
Colley slashed down the lane and hit a layup through multiple Chippewas, giving her team the lead with 7.6 seconds left. CMU sophomore guard Micaela Kelly couldn't convert a difficult look over an MSU defender at the final horn.
The Spartans (21-11) sent CMU (25-8) out of the NCAA Tournament with an 88-87 victory at the Joyce Center in South Bend, Indiana.
"We had a great shot at the end," said CMU head coach Sue Guevara. "I think when you look at our big three, on the last play there, all three of them touched the ball. (Kelly) had a shot and it didn't go in.
"Kudos to Michigan State, I said to Suzy (Merchant) after the game, 'Do you want to do this more often?' She said, 'Not a chance.'"
Tayrn McCutcheon showed up as advertised from beyond the arc, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers heading into the first media timeout, giving MSU an 18-9 advantage.
CMU senior forward Reyna Frost had eight of the Chippewas' first 11 points to hold them in the game, but McCutcheon stayed hot from outside.
Her third triple of the game led MSU to a 25-13 lead and the game appeared to be on the brink of spiraling out of control for the Chippewas.
Frost wasn't having it.
The Reese native capped off a 7-0 CMU run over the final 1:30 of the first quarter with an and-one bucket to pull the Chippewas within five, 25-20, heading into the second quarter.
The MAC Player of the Year kept showing why she was crowned with the honor.
Frost found seams in the MSU defense time and time again, using ball screens to cut toward the rim. It resulted in her going 11-of-17 from the field and scoring eight points to start the second quarter. CMU cut the MSU lead down to three, 37-34, with 3:44 left in the half.
CMU would regain the lead at 38-37, but the Spartans closed the half on a 6-2 run to carry a 43-40 lead into the locker room.
Frost led CMU with 25 points on 12-of-18 shooting, while McCutcheon led MSU with nine tallies. MSU found 13 second chance points to just four for CMU.
To start off the second half, McCutcheon found double figures.
The Spartans point guard drilled a triple on MSU's first possession in the third quarter. As a team, MSU started the half on a 8-0 run and forced Guevara into a timeout. It led CMU 51-40 with 8:44 left in the third quarter.
Then, Kelly found her groove. She weaved through traffic time and time again finding layups and capped off the third quarter with a corner triple. CMU trailed 66-61 heading into the final frame and Kelly had 21 points, 15 of them coming in the third.
Hudson was having another quiet game. Coming into the third quarter she had just four points.
The senior guard made sure to change that.
Hudson knocked down her 11th point on a 3-pointer from the left wing that she eyed for a few seconds, watched it go through and gave her iconic fist pump heading into a timeout. The Chippewas had regained the lead at 75-74 with 5:23 remaining.
Both teams traded buckets, grinding out tough looks inside over and over. It was 84 all with 51.8 seconds remaining.
Something had to give. The script was wrote, it was a matter of who would fill in the blank with their name.
Shay Colley left her signature all over it.
MSU's redshirt junior guard hit a layup with 7.6 seconds remaining to give MSU the lead at 88-87 after Hudson hit a triple to give CMU the lead the play before.
Kelly tossed up a prayer at the buzzer that hit the backboard and fell off the front of the rim.
In a back and forth game, CMU came up an inch shorter than the Spartans.
"As we all look at it, we just wanted to get a stop," said Kelly of the Spartans final possession. "Basically try to contain penetration and do our job. Make a big defensive stop."
In their final game as Chippewas, Frost scored 34 points and Hudson scored 20, 16 of which came in the final 20 minutes.
Frost said she wants to focus on the positive memories from her time at CMU.
"I want to be thankful for the things I had over the last four years," Frost said. "My coaches did a great job of developing me each year."
Kelly finished the game with 24 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field and going 4-of-9 from deep. Being in just her second year as a Chippewa, Kelly is looking forward to growing next season.
"Every year, each year I want to get it done," Kelly said. "It's the mentality I have. Winning is fun, losing hurts. As I grow, I want to continue to be coachable. It's a process."