Women's basketball expects to bounce back against rival Western Michigan
Sue Guevara aims to get her team back on track.
And there's no better opportunity for the Chippewas to do so than against rival Western Michigan.
Central Michigan women's basketball takes on the Broncos (8-12, 2-7 MAC) at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at Read Fieldhouse in Kalamazoo.
"It's Super Bowl Wednesday, that's what it is," Guevara said of playing Western. "It's not a secret. When we go there, they give it everything they have. It's a rivalry game."
The Chippewas (16-6, 7-3 MAC) sit at the top of the MAC West Division, but CMU is fresh off a tough 78-75 loss to Ohio on Feb. 9 at McGuirk Arena.
In the three-point defeat to the Bobcats last weekend, CMU finished 14-of-24 from the free throw line, which Guevara said was the deciding factor in the game. The Chippewas also struggled on help-side defense, something Guevara has stressed in practice this week.
Guevara expects WMU to run in transition and pull up for 3-pointers, giving her team ample opportunities for rebounds.
"Understanding how important our help-side defense and rebounding is going to have to be," she said. "They are shooting the 3-ball way more than in the past. Long shots, long rebounds."
The Chippewas are much like their in-state rival in terms of owning a run-and-gun type of offense.
It all starts with senior guard Presley Hudson.
Hudson averages 20.8 points per game, 4.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists. She shoots 39.2 percent from the 3-point line (74-of-189) and 92.3 percent from the charity stripe (72-of-78).
Alongside Hudson is Reyna Frost, a senior forward from Reese, Michigan. Frost averages a double-double with 19.8 points and 12.8 rebounds per contest. Since the 2017-18 season, she's expanded her game to the 3-point line. This year, Frost has made 23-of-60 shots from downtown, good for a 38.3 percent mark.
Sophomore guard Micaela Kelly has made 40.2 percent of her 3-point opportunities, chipping in 13.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists on average.
Since the opening of MAC play, WMU has fallen against Akron (59-72), Eastern Michigan (61-64), Toledo (57-80), Buffalo (59-61), Miami (62-81), Kent State (51-55) and Akron (62-69). Coach Shane Clipfell's only league wins are over Bowling Green and Ball State.
The Broncos have started eight different players this season – senior guard Deja Wimby, junior guard Kamrin Reed, sophomore forward Leighah-Amori Wool, senior forward Jasmyn Walker, junior forward Meredith Miller, freshman forward Maxine Moore, freshman guard Maddie Watters and sophomore guard Nina Farkic.
Wimby and Walker average 13.4 and 10.1 points per game, respectively. The pair also paces the Broncos in the rebounding category – Walker with 5.3 per game and Wimby with 4.6. Wimby leads the Broncos with 4.4 assists per game.
"They have two kids that can drive it down your throat," Guevara said of Walker and Wimby.
At 6-feet, Wool often expands her range as a stretch-four. She's made 30-of-105 3-pointers this season and averages 10.6 points.
WMU's tallest impact post player is Walker, at 5-foot-10. Guevara sees it like five guards playing at once, regardless of which athletes are on the floor.
"They almost start like five guards because Walker can post it up and doesn't just play with her back to the basket," Guevara said. "She looks to drive."
After CMU takes on WMU, the Chippewas travel to Buffalo for a 2 p.m. Feb. 16 matchup against the Bulls. Back on Feb. 2, Guevara's group topped Buffalo coach Felisha Legette-Jack's team, 76-65.