Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
Junior Jas'Mine Bracey scored a career-high 25 points Thursday night along with 16 rebounds to help Central Michigan move to 8-0 in MAC play with a win over Eastern Michigan, 82-67.
CMU Shakes Off Slow Start to Defeat Eastern Michigan, 82-67

Mount Pleasant, Mich. - Things didn't start quite the way the Central Michigan women's basketball program would have liked, but the Chippewas remained perfect in Mid-American Conference play when it was all said and done Thursday night, defeating Eastern Michigan, 82-67. 

The Chippewas (12-8, 8-0 MAC) extended their longest winning streak under head coach Sue Guevara to eight and improved to 8-0 in MAC play for the first time since the 1983-84 season. 

The win didn't come without some adversity for the Maroon and Gold however, as the Eagles (12-7, 2-6 MAC) used a 15-0 run to take a 16-3 advantage at the 13:21 mark of the first half. 

CMU was held scoreless for a stretch of 5:13 during the Eagles' run, but the Maroon and Gold quickly turned the momentum back in their favor as they went on a run of their own. 

Senior Niki DiGuilio got things rolling with a three and classmate Taylor Johnson knocked down a triple of her own on CMU's next possession. An offensive rebound and jumper by redshirt freshman Jewel Cotton extended the run to 8-0 and two more triples by Johnson gave the Chippewas the lead with 8:28 to play in the first half, 17-16. 

DiGuilio knocked down a pair of free throws at the 7:48 mark to cap a 16-0 run by the Maroon and Gold that gave the home squad a 19-16 lead. 

The Eagles were held without a field goal for 7:30 until Cha Sweeney hit a three to tie the game with 5:51 on the clock, 19-19, but the Chippewas never trailed again, taking a 29-23 lead into halftime. 

The Eagles opened the second half on a 8-2 run to even the game at the 18:06 mark, 31-31, but another 15-2 run over the next 5:13 of the contest allowed the Chippewas to take a 46-33 lead. 

Johnson gave CMU the lead for good with an offensive rebound at putback and junior Crystal Bradford knocked down a three on an assist from junior Kerby Tamm to push the lead to 37-31. 

Bradford hit another triple from the top of the key with 15:35 to play and Tamm hit nothing but net on a pair of triples, the second coming at the 13:18 mark, to close the run. 

Sweeney cut CMU's lead to single digits with a jumper at the 9:52 mark, 52-43, but Tamm hit her third triple of the second half on CMU's next possession to extend it back to double digits, 55-43. 

EMU was again able to cut its' deficit to eight, 65-57, on a layup by freshman Janay Morton, but it was as close as it would get as junior Jas'Mine Bracey took over for the Maroon and Gold down the stretch. 

Bracey scored nine of her career-high 25 points over the last 4:27 of the contest to secure the win for CMU. The junior finished 11-of-14 from the field and also pulled down 16 rebounds, nine offensive, for her seventh double-double of the season. 

Bradford (16 points and 17 rebounds) and Johnson (15 points and 11 rebounds) also had double-doubles for CMU, while Tamm finished with nine points and nine rebounds. Bradford also led all players with five assists. 

CMU finished the game with 23 second-chance points on 22 offensive rebounds, while holding a 64-48 advantage on the glass. 

The Chippewas are back in action Sunday afternoon when they host MAC East foe Ohio at 2 p.m.