Central Michigan at Massachusetts
Sunday, Nov. 10 - 1 p.m. | Amherst, Mass. | Mullins Center
Live Audio: www.cmuchippewas.com
Radio: 91.5 wmhw-fm; Jared Sandler (play-by-play) and Matt Pocket (color)
Live Stats: umassathletics.com | Twitter: @CMUWBBall | Facebook: /CMUWBBall
|Probable Starters (Based on previous game)|
|G||3||Jessica Green||5-10||jr.||25-22||11.8||3.0||2.3 SPG|
|G||23||Crystal Bradford||6-2||Jr.||33-24||16.1||9.9||3.0 APG|
|G||24||Niki DiGuilio||5-8||Sr.||33-23||7.3||2.0||63 3FG|
|F||32||Jas'Mine Bracey||6-2||Jr.||32-13||6.1||4.9||.491 FG%|
|F||44||Taylor Johnson||5-10||Sr.||33-11||8.5||5.5||1.5 SPG|
Chippewas Tabbed Favorites
Central Michigan was a unanimous choice to win the Mid-American Conference West title and received nine of 12 votes to repeat at the MAC Tournament by the coaches in the leagues’ preseason poll. CMU returns 10 letterwinners and three starters from last season’s MAC Tourney championship squad.
Bradford and Green Preseason All-MAC
Juniors Crystal Bradford and Jessica Green were each named to the Preseason All-MAC West Team as voted by the leagues’ coaches. The tandem returns as the Chippewas’ top two scorers from a season ago and are both on pass to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau in 2013-14.
The Big Dance
The Chippewas claimed their first MAC Tournament Title and clinched a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1984 last season by defeating Akron in the conference championship game, 86-68. The Maroon and Gold earned a No. 11 seed and fell to No. 6 seed Oklahoma in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, 78-73.
MVP! MVP! MVP!
Crystal Bradford became just the second player in program history to earn MAC Tournament MVP honors last season by averaging 18.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.3 steals over the three games. Bradford’s All-Tournament Team selection was her second in as many seasons.
After battling through the third toughest non-conference schedule in the country a season ago, the Chippewas will take on another daunting non-conference schedule this season. Ten of the Chippewas’ 12 non-conference games will be against postseason teams from a year ago, including eight games versus NCAA Tournament foes.
Welcome to Paradise
The Chippewas will play in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands for the first time in program history Nov. 28-30. CMU will open the tournament versus Kansas before battling ACC champ Duke and closing with Xavier.
Off and Running
One of the top scoring teams in the country, CMU ranked 12th last season by averaging 74.4 points per contest. The Chippewas scored 70-plus points in 24 games last season and were a perfect 10-0 when scoring at least 80. Overall, CMU has gone 44-7 during head coach Sue Guevara’s six seasons when it scores 80-plus.
Four different players are on pace to join CMU’s 1,000-point club in the 2013-14 season, including seniors Taylor Johnson (889 points) and Niki DiGuilio (837) and juniors Crystal Bradford (986) and Jessica Green (690). CMU has had 21 players reach the 1,000-point mark in program history, with five of them accomplishing the feat under Guevara.
Senior Niki DiGuilio enters the season ranked third in program history with 188 career three-point field goals, just 43 shy of breaking Shonda Long’s record of 230 set from 2008-11. DiGuilio has posted three of the top eight single-season shooting marks from behind the arc.
A Program First
The Chippewas have posted 20-plus wins and postseason appearances in three-straight seasons for the first time in program history. CMU appeared in the WNIT each of the previous two seasons before making the NCAA Tournament in 2013.