Women's basketball surives late charge at Buffalo


Sophomore guard Micaela Kelly, left, talks to senior guard Presley Hudson, right, during a game against Ohio on Feb. 9 at McGuirk Arena.

Presley Hudson connected a pair of free throws late in the second quarter to give Central Michigan a 21-point lead.

However, Buffalo would erase that lead with a second half surge. Still, the Chippewas (18-6, 9-3 Mid-American Conference) survived to a 100-95 win over the Bulls (16-7, 8-4) at Alumni Arena in Buffalo, New York.

Hudson and fellow senior forward Reyna Frost were held scoreless for over the first three minutes. That would not last long as Hudson led the way with 28 points and Frost tallied her 21st double-double of the season with 23 points and 14 rebounds.  

Sophomore forward Kyra Bussell poured in 20 points of her own. Bussell played extensive minutes due to freshman forward Jahari Smith picking up two fouls within the first three minutes.

Smith opened up the scoring with a layup and neither team scored for over a minute. 

CMU led by as many as 10 in the first quarter with a Hudson 3-pointer late in the first to make it 23-13. The Chippewas took a 25-16 lead into the second quarter and spread the lead out quickly from there. 

Frost, Hudson and sophomore guard Micaela Kelly led a 14-4 run in the middle of the second quarter. The run lasted over three minutes and it was capped off by a layup from Kelly. 

The Bulls scored the final four points of the half to head to the locker room trailing CMU 51-34. 

Then, things started to fall of the rails for CMU.

CMU turned the ball over 22 times and gave the Bulls 30 points off turnovers to help them make their comeback. Head coach Sue Guevara was not pleased with that statistic. 

"We talked about taking care of the basketball," Guevara said. "We knew it was going to be a physical game and if you don't move to meet the ball, you're going to get clobbered." 

UB outscored CMU 61-49 in the second half. That included a 12-6 run to close the third quarter capped off by a layup from Marissa Hamilton. 

In the fourth quarter, Buffalo continued to chip away at their deficit and CMU did their best to keep the Bulls at bay. 

UB brought the CMU lead down to one point at 96-95 on a triple from Summer Hemphill to cap off a 10-4 run with less than a minute to play. 

Bussell scored her 20th point on a layup and Hudson added two free throws down the stretch to secure the road victory for the Chippewas. 

CMU scored 27 points off the bench and that played a critical role in their victory, especially when UB made it close late. 

"Our bench came to play today," Guevara said. "We made the plays we needed to down the stretch."

Those plays helped in CMU earning its second win of the 2018-19 campaign over the Bulls.

Next, the Chippewas will head to Bowling Green to play their matchup with the Falcons that was rescheduled due to the polar vortex. The Falcons are 8-14, 1-10 in the MAC this season.