Women’s basketball with momentum heading into matchup with WMU

Greg Cornwell | Staff Photographer Senior guard Crystal Bradford runs down the lane Saturday at McGuirk Arena. The Chippewas lost to the Bobcats, 74-66.

Following a victory Wednesday, Central Michigan University’s women’s basketball team travels to Kalamazoo for a showdown with rival Western Michigan University on at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The top spot in the Mid-American Conference West Division is on the line.

The Broncos (14-7, 7-3 MAC) lead the west one game ahead the Chippewas (11-9, 6-3 MAC), who are riding high after defeating Bowling Green State University on the road for the first time in 20 years Wednesday.

“It’s another step,” said CMU coach Sue Guevara. “When it all comes together one of these days soon, then it’ll be a good day.”

WMU’s junior forward Miracle Woods is the player to watch for the Broncos. Woods is ranked 10th in the MAC in scoring, averaging 14 points per game, and third in shooting percentage at 52.5 percent.

With seven upperclassmen on the Broncos’ roster, Guevara said she believes Woods and the other WMU veterans will impact the flow of the game.

“They’re a very experienced team,” she said. “They’ve got shooters, they play some pretty good defense.”

The Broncos defense has been stout throughout the season. The Broncos are holding opposing teams to 56.7 points per game, which is second best in the conference.

They currently hold an eight-game winning streak over the Broncos.

“I know Western is our rival in all of our sports,” she said. “But we look at Western the same way we look at Eastern, the same way we look at Toledo. So if you put more emphasis on that, then it’s less emphasis on the game next week.

The Broncos have been dominant at home, posting an 8-1 record and outscoring opponents by 17.4 points per game at University Arena in Kalamazoo.

“They’re scrappy and they’ve improved a lot from last year,” said senior forward Kerby Tamm. “They’re playing really well right now, so we’re going to have to bring our A-game to win on the road.”

Tamm said the Chippewas have taken Guevara’s advice and are focusing on the strategy of winning the game itself and not so much the rivalry.

“Each game we play is the most important, so Western is our most important game and we’re treating it like every other game we’ve played so far,” she said. “It’s always like an in-state rivalry. You always want to beat those in-state teams and be the best MAC team in Michigan, so that adds a fuel to the fire.”