Dayton, Ohio — Senior Niki DiGuilio became Central Michigan’s all-time leading three-point shooter and the 23rd player in program history to eclipse 1,000 career points, but the Chippewas were unable to overcome a hot-shooting Dayton squad in the second half in suffering its third-straight loss, 102-89.
DiGuilio eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau with a jumper at the 14:08 mark of the first half before breaking Shonda Long’s three-point field record with a triple with 13:39 to play in the second half. She now has 231 career three-point field goals and 1,017 career points.
The Chippewas fall to 4-8 on the season with the loss, while the Flyers claimed their fourth-straight victory to improve to 6-4 on the season.
CMU used hot shooting in the first half and 13 points apiece from senior Niki DiGuilio and Crystal Bradford to claim a four-point lead at the break, 48-44. The Chippewas fell behind by seven, 17-10, before going on a 11-3 run that included triples by junior Taylor Johnson and Bradford to grab a 21-20 lead. DiGuilio twice hit triples in the first half to give the Chippewas their largest lead at six points, but the Flyers were able to cut it to four before the break.
CMU shot 48.6 percent (18-for-37) from the field in the first half, including a 38.5 percent (5-for-13) clip from behind the arc. Unfortunately, the game was a tale of two halves as the Chippewas went cold in the final 20 minutes and the Flyers heated up.
The Flyers opened the second half on a 6-0 run to take the lead, 50-48, when Andrea Hoover knocked down one of her five three-point field goals and Kelley Austria scored three points the hard way. A Crystal Bradford layup evened things back up with 19:05 to play, but Ally Malott converted a three-point play on the Flyers’ next possession to reclaim the lead for good.
UD hit 8-of-10 shots to open the second half, including 5-of-5 from behind the arc, to turn its' halftime deficit into a double-digit lead with 14:00 to play, 71-59. Junior Kerby Tamm cut the deficit to single digits, 73-65, on a three point play with 13:11 to play, and a pair of free throws by senior Taylor Johnson also cut it to eight with 8:51 to play, but it was as close as the Chippewas got.
Bradford led all players with 24 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for her 30th career double-double, while DiGuilio and Green each scored 18.
Hoover and Austria led six Dayton Flyers in double figures with 19 points apiece, while Cassie Sant scored 12 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out a game-high seven assists.
The Flyers shot 52.5 percent (21-for-40) in the second half, while the Chippewas shot just 38.9 percent (14-for-36). UD also held a slight advantage on the glass, 45-44, in addition to turning 19 CMU turnovers into 27 points.
The Chippewas begin Mid-American Conference on Saturday, Dec. 4 versus West Division rival and defending MAC Champion Toledo. The contest is set for a 12 p.m., tipoff and will be broadcast on the Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (TWC) and ESPN3.
CMU was picked as the favorite to win the MAC West and repeat as the tournament champion in the coaches’ annual preseason poll released in October.