MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan continues its hot start in Mid-American Conference play behind double-doubles from sophomore Crystal Bradford and senior Jessica Schroll to defeat rival Western Michigan Wednesday night, 72-58.
Bradford scored a game-high 26 points and pulled down 13 rebounds as the nights of filling the box score are becoming a habit for the sophomore from Inkster, Mich. She added three assists, as well as four steals and three blocks on the defensive end.
Schroll on the other hand joined the double-double party for the first time in her collegiate career, scoring all 11 of her points in the second half, while pulling down a season-high 10 boards. The second half was even more impressive from the senior considering she was held without a point and committed a season-high five turnovers in 13 minutes of play in the first half.
A 60 percent (6-for-10) effort from behind the three point line gave the Chippewas (9-7, 3-0 MAC) a two-point lead at the break, 31-29, but they were able to come out of the locker room inspired to go on a 19-7 run and grab a 50-36 advantage.
A steal by Schroll and layup by fellow senior Brandie Baker got the run started before Schroll scored six of the next eight points for the Maroon and Gold. A pair of free throws by Bradford continued the run and the sophomore intercepted a pass and went coast to coast for a fast break layup to push the lead to double-digits, 46-35. Schroll capped the run with a drive and layup down the heart of the Broncos' (4-12, 0-3 MAC) defense, scoring eight of the 19 points during the stretch.
A pair of free throws by sophomore Jessica Green gave the Chippewas their largest lead the game, 55-38, but the Broncos were able to claw back and had a chance to pull within single digits before Miracle Woods missed a free throw with 8:38 to play.
Bradford went back to work, scoring five points and assisting on a Green layup during a 10-4 run that secured the third 3-0 start in conference play under head coach Sue Guevara.
After the hot start in the first half behind the arc, the Chippewas were able to get to the paint in the second, scoring 20 of their 32 points in the paint. CMU also limited its turnovers in the second half, committing just three after being forced into 10 in the first half.
The Chippewas will look to improve to 4-0 in the MAC for the first time since 2010 when they host Northern Illinois Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will be a doubleheader inside McGuirk Arena as the men's team will play Ball State at 7 p.m.
Bradford's double-double was her second-straight, sixth of the season and 17th of her career. Through the first three games of conference play, the sophomore is averaging 22 points, 11.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 3.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game.
Bradford's four blocks moved her into sole possession of fourth place on CMU's career blocks list. She now has 86 career blocks in just 48 games (1.8/game)
Schroll's 10 rebounds were a season high and the second most of her career. Her career high came versus Oklahoma on Jan. 27, 2010 as a member of Iowa State.
Wednesday marked the first time this season that the Chippewas had two players record a double-double in the same game.
The Chippewas' bench was outscored for the first time this season. WMU held a 24-14 advantage in bench scoring over CMU.
CMU held a 41-34 advantage in rebounding, improving its record to 8-1 when outrebounding its opponent this season.
CMU's 72 points marked the ninth-straight game in which it went over the 70-point plateau. CMU has accomplished the feat 13 times in 2012-13.