MOUNT PLEASANT — The Central Michigan women’s basketball program hosted friends, family and program supporters at its annual banquet Sunday afternoon to celebrate its historical 2012-13 campaign.
The Chippewas completed its turn around of the program under head coach Sue Guevara with their third-straight 20-plus win season, a Mid-American Conference Tournament title and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 29 years.
Led by a core of three seniors, the Maroon and Gold took on the daunted task of the third toughest non-conference schedule in the country and earned wins over No. 20/21 Texas as well as Green Bay, which finished the regular season ranked in the top 25.
Sophomore Crystal Bradford was named the Chippewa Award winner as the team’s most valuable player after being named an All-MAC First Team selection, WBCA Region 4 All-America Candidate, Mid-Major All-American by FullCourt.com and earning MAC Tournament MVP honors.
Seniors Jessica Schroll and Brandie Baker shared the team’s Defensive Player of the Year award after each was named All-MAC Honorable Mention and to the MAC All-Tournament Team. CMU posted its fifth lowest points allowed in program history and held 12 opponents under 60 points on the year – the most under Guevara - thanks in large part to Schroll and Baker.
Freshman Jewel Cotton showed the future is even brighter for the Chippewas as she was named the team’s Practice Player of the Year as well as the Most Improved Player award winner.
Fellow freshman Chelsea Lynn was given the Heart and Hustle Award for demonstrating tremendous passion and excitement for her teammates and the game of basketball. Her unselfish attitude make her a positive influence and a respected leader among her peers.
Junior Kylie Welch received the Dee Pommerenk Award for exemplifying a positive attitude, teamwork and a willingness to contribute maximum effort regardless of ability or individual statistics. Welch was named a co-captain for these qualities at the beginning of the season and carried her duties out to their fullest potential in helping the Chippewas earn a MAC Tournament title.
Junior Niki DiGuilio was awarded the program’s Academic Excellence Leadership Award for posting a 3.60 grade point average as a biology/biomedical science major.