CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Central Michigan women's basketball team used 43 points from four freshmen to defeat Ohio, 58-55, in the second round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Wednesday.
The No. 5 Chippewas (18-14) will face No. 4 Miami tomorrow at noon in the MAC Tournament quarterfinals.
Down by one with 4:05 left to play, Crystal Bradford grabbed an offensive rebound that she laid back in, putting the Chippewas up 54-53 with 3:37 left. A bucket by Jas'Mine Bracey along with another from Bradford gave CMU just enough of a lead to hold off the Bobcats (14-18) and advance to the quarterfinals for the fourth straight season.
"We survived," said head coach Sue Guevara. "I thought we were a little flat in the second half and struggling offensively, but I'll tell you what, our kids gutted it out. We had some key rebounds when we needed and some easy put-backs. It is a good win for a young team in tournament time and this is the type of experience our freshmen need to have. We get to play tomorrow and are looking forward to it."
After both teams were held without a basket for the first 2:41 of the game, Bracey hit four straight points to put the Chippewas up at 16:41. After only leading by one, at 14:20, the Maroon and Gold went on a 7-0 run that included a long range shot by Bradford, to lead 13-5. CMU extended its cushion to 10, its largest of the game, off an 8-2 run that saw treys from both Niki DiGuilio and Jalisa Olive. OU went on an 8-0 run in the final 3:42 to knot the game at 31 heading into the break.
The Bobcats grabbed their first lead of the game by hitting the first bucket to begin the half. OU used a 10-2 run at 12:57 to grab its largest lead of the game, 45-37. A three-pointer by Kerby Tamm followed by eight straight points from Jessica Green, capped an 11-0 response for the Chippewas at 9:57. Both teams traded buckets for the remainder of the half, but three key rebounds by Bradford in the final 2:13 allowed the Maroon and Gold to seal the win.
Bradford recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Green added 16 points followed by Bracey with 10. Brandie Baker only scored two points offensively, but finished the game with eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
As a team CMU shot 40.7 percent from the floor and 60 percent from the free throw line. OU was held to 33.9 percent shooting and 66.7 from the charity stripe.