Women's basketball takes on Purdue with win streak on the line

It's been over a week since the Central Michigan women's basketball team has played a road game, but that will change as the team takes on Purdue at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. 

The Chippewas are on a five-game winning streak dating back to Nov. 22 when they defeated the Oakland Golden Grizzlies 70-67 in double overtime. 

The Purdue Boilermakers are 5-4, but have won four of their last five games.

"It's our defense, and it's always come down to that — defense and rebounding," said Head Coach Sue Guevara. "You can have a cold shooting night but if you have consistency on the defensive end and you're rebounding more, then you're going to be able to stay in the game."

The Chippewas have four players that average over 10 points per game — junior guard Cassie Breen (15.3), senior forward Jewel Cotton (14.9), sophomore guard Presley Hudson (13) and junior forward Tinara Moore (10.5). Along with those four, sophomore forward Reyna Frost is averaging seven points and 11.6 rebounds per game. 

Cotton credits her teammates for the success early in the season, including communicating more, being comfortable with the team and not being afraid to make mistakes. 

"You gotta start somewhere. We're going up from here," she said.

Cotton started the season coming off the bench, and won Co-Sixth Player of the Year in the Mid-American Conference. But it appears Cotton will be a full-time starter for the time being.

"She's doing a really nice job for us starting," Guevara said. "When I asked her to get herself mentally ready to do that, she did. I can't ask for much more than that."

The Boilermakers will counter with senior guard Ashley Morrissette and freshman guard Dominique Oden. Morrissette averages 16.1 points per game and leads the team in assists with 37. Oden, only having started six of the Boilermakers' nine games, is averaging 10.6 points per game and shoots a team-high 85.7 percent from the free-throw line. She is also second on the team in 3-point percentage with 49.3. 

Even with the Boilermakers being in a power-five conference like the Big 10, Guevara said she is still confident in her team.

"You can't really look at what conference they are in. You start concentrating more on them than yourself," she said. "Yeah, it's an opportunity to play a Big 10 team that is quick, athletic and has good size inside. I think that's good for us; it gets us ready for the Toledo's and the Western Michigan's that have size."