Women's basketball collapses against Toledo, drops second conference game

Freshmen guard Maddy Watters faces off with the Toledo defense on Feb. 10 in McGuirk Arena.

Down three points with 0.4 seconds left, Central Michigan women's basketball sophomore forward Kyra Bussell's attempt to tie hit off the left side of the backboard – no good.

On CMU prior possession, down a pair to Toledo at the time, sophomore guard Micaela Kelly attacked the basket. At first glance, it seemed the ball was blocked and secured by the Rockets. 

However, a late jump ball call from the referee underneath gave it back to the Chippewas.

With five seconds remaining, coach Sue Guevara went back to Kelly. Even in a second-chance opportunity, the Detroit native was unable to find the bottom of the basket.

An ensuing foul led to Toledo senior guard Mikaela Boyd going 1-of-2 from the free throw line to help secure a 62-59 victory for the Rockets (12-5, 4-2 Mid-American Conference) over the Chippewas (13-5, 4-2 MAC) on Jan. 23 at Savage Arena.

In the loss, CMU was paced by senior forward Reyna Frost with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Senior guard Presley Hudson scored 14 points, putting her just five away from breaking the all-time program scoring record set by Crystal Bradford (2011-15). She added 10 assists.

The Chippewas went on a 13-2 run in the first quarter to gain a sizable lead, which they held until the third quarter. With 7:00 remaining in the third, sophomore guard Nakiah Black dropped in a 3-pointer to hand Toledo its first edge since the opening minutes, 42-39.

From that point on, it went back-and-forth until the end.

Toledo coach Tricia Cullop's group put together an 11-4 push to open the third quarter, taking a 42-39 lead at the 4:50 mark.

As she's done on multiple occasions throughout her career, Frost and Hudson responded. Kelly dished a pass to Frost for a mid-range jumper to put CMU back on top with 4:29 left in the third. Moments later, Hudson rattled home a 3-pointer to go up 48-46.

The Rockets put together an impressive final two minutes in the third to carry a four-point margin, 52-48, heading into the final 10 minutes of regulation. 

Hudson, with 4:00 to play, trimmed the Chippewa deficit to 58-55 on a triple while surpassing 2,000 points for her career. Kelly got CMU within one-point on a fast-break layup with 96 seconds left, but she was unable to finish in the final seconds.

Kelly was 3-of-11 from the field and 1-of-6 from downtown, scoring seven points. The Chippewas went 2-of-2 from the free throw line, a season low for attempts at the charity stripe.

For Toledo, 6-foot-2 senior center Kaayla McIntyre paced her team with 16 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Black and Boyd added 15 and 13 points, respectively.

Toledo is now the second MAC team to defeat the Chippewas this season, as Miami (Ohio) took them down on Jan. 16 by three points at McGuirk Arena. 

CMU has dropped two of its last three and are now in a two-way tie with the Rockets for first place in the MAC West Division.

Up next for the Chippewas in a home battle against Eastern Michigan (10-7, 3-3 MAC) at 1 p.m. Jan. 26 at McGuirk Arena.