Women’s basketball wins nail biter over Buffalo
With 2:38 left in the second overtime, freshman guard Molly Davis made a 3-pointer to give Central Michigan a 90-89 lead over Buffalo.
From that point forward, the Chippewas did not surrender the lead, eventually taking the Mid-American Conference foe Bulls down, 98-93, Wednesday at Alumni Arena in Buffalo, New York.
The Chippewas (15-4, 8-0 MAC) needed two overtime periods to beat the Bulls and were able to do so despite junior guard Micaela Kelly fouling out with just over four minutes left in the first overtime.
Both teams fought back and forth during both of the overtime periods. Davis’ triple gave the Chippewas the lead and solid free throw shooting by Davis and redshirt sophomore Kalle Martinez secured the game for CMU.
A controversial dead ball intentional foul called against Buffalo with 2.1 seconds left earned the Chippewas a trip to the line and the ball back, Davis sank the two free throws and Martinez was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play and she made both of her free throws as well.
Davis led CMU in scoring with 25 points including seven points in the overtime periods. Martinez entered the game in overtime when Kelly fouled out and scored her season-high seven points. Martinez also had a steal she turned into a layup to tie the game at 83 midway through the first overtime. She also hit the final two free throws of the game that sealed the victory for CMU.
The Bulls (13-6, 4-4) were led by their highly-touted freshman, Dyaisha Fair, who led all scorers with 29 points during her 44 minutes on the court. Yet, she was unable to convert on any of her attempts in overtime.
Much of the talk before the game centered around Kelly and Fair, both players came into the game ranked in the top five in the country in points per game and while Fair won the scoring battle Kelly finished with a triple-double, 14 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.
Both teams had plenty of turnovers in the game, Buffalo had 16 and the Chippewas gave the ball up 24 times, 11 of which were attributed to Davis.
Outside of Kelly and Davis, three other Chippewas finished with point totals in double-digits. Junior guard Maddy Watters had 16, junior forward Kyra Bussell had 15, senior forward Gabrielle Bird had 15.
Bussell grabbed a career-high 17 boards to complete her fourth double-double on the season.
The win gives the Chippewas an edge over one of the toughest teams in the conference and a team that knocked them out in the semi-finals of last season’s MAC Tournament.
The Chippewas are just shy of the halfway point of the MAC season and have yet to lose. CMU also holds a two-game lead over the second-best team in the conference, East Division leader, Ohio.
When Central and the Bobcats squared off on Jan. 8 in Athens, Ohio, CMU came away with a 73-71 win off a buzzer-beating win from Bird.
In a return trip to Mount Pleasant, CMU and the Bobcats square off at 1 p.m. Saturday in McGuirk Arena.