St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands — The Central Michigan women’s basketball program came out red hot in its attempt to upset No. 2 Duke Friday afternoon, but the Chippewas were unable to keep up the hot shooting in a lopsided 97-64 loss.
After quickly falling behind 8-0 in the first 1:26 of play, the Chippewas (1-4) found the hot hand of senior guard Niki DiGuilio. The senior knocked down a pair of triples and converted two-of-three at the line to go on a personal 8-0 run and tie the game at the 17:09 mark.
A three by junior Crystal Bradford evened the game at 12 apiece and DiGuilio knocked down her third three of the half with 15:12 to play to give CMU a three-point lead, 15-12. The Maroon and Gold extended their lead to four, 18-14, on another triple by Bradford, grabbing their largest lead of the game.
DiGuilio knocked down a step-back jumper with 9:37 to play in the first half and the Chippewas reclaimed the lead, 22-21, but it was short lived as the Blue Devils (7-0) quickly showed why they are the second-ranked team in the country.
The run continued for the Blue Devils however as they closed the half on a 28-8 run to take a 49-30 lead into halftime.
CMU was held without a field goal for the first 3:04 of the second half until senior Taylor Johnson scored a pair of her season-high 12 points, allowing the Blue Devils to push their lead to 59-32.
The Chippewas were unable to find the hot touch in the second half, shooting just 11-of-37 (29.7 percent) from the field.
Duke’s size down low also proved to cause the Chippewas trouble all afternoon as the Blue Devils finished with a 53-33 edge on the boards.
DiGuilio led CMU with 17 points, while Bradford had 13 points and seven rebounds. Six Blue Devils notched double figures in the contest, led by Tricia Liston’s game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Chippewas will close the Paradise Jam tomorrow afternoon versus Xavier at 1:15 ET. The game can be followed through live stats at www.Paradisejamstats.com or through a live web stream via YouTube Live. The stream can be found on the schedule page of www.CMUChippewas.com or www.facebook.com/ParadiseJam1.