Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Certainly, game planning in basketball is important. Identifying an opponent's strengths and weaknesses and then attacking or stopping them is key.
That said, good teams -- really good teams -- often face the challenge of simply being the best they can possibly be on any given night. On Wednesday, the Central Michigan women's basketball team came awful close to that lofty goal.
Reyna Frost scored 25 points, grabbed nine rebounds and tied her career high with four steals, and Presley Hudson had 18 points and a season-high nine assists without committing a turnover as the Chippewas dominated Bowling Green, 90-54, before 1,494 in a Mid-American Conference game at McGuirk Arena.
It was CMU's fourth consecutive victory as it improved to 12-3, 4-0 MAC. The Chippewas entertain Kent State (9-7, 2-2) on Saturday (1 p.m.).
It marked the fifth time this season that the Chippewas have reached the 90-point plateau and the third consecutive MAC game in which they built a big lead and cruised home. CMU is ranked eighth nationally in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25.
"There's always things that we can do better," said Frost, whose 25 points were two shy of her career high, and she finished one rebound short of her ninth double-double of the season. "We have certain goals that we want to meet as a team and we didn't meet some of them.
"Our turnovers improved in the game, we took away some of their players that we wanted to take away so that's the thing we're most happy about. We just need to keep getting better for Kent State."
Hard to improve on the performance that the Chippewas put on against the Falcons (8-7, 0-4), who have lost five straight games.
CMU built a 10-point lead, 20-10, on a Hudson 3-pointer with 2 minutes remaining in the first quarter. They led by 11, 25-14, after one, and then outscored the Falcons 28-13 in the second for a commanding 53-27 halftime lead. The game was effectively over at that point.
CMU made 51.5 percent of its field goal attempts, finished with a 43-33 rebounding advantage, and forced 15 Bowling Green turnovers.
Tinara Moore added 14 points and seven rebounds for CMU, and Krya Bussell came off the bench to finish with eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds in 17 minutes.
Bussell, a 6-foot-1 freshman, is the first Chippewa forward off the bench, spelling the incredible one-two frontcourt punch that is Frost and Moore. That duo is ranked first and third, respectively, in rebounding in the MAC and is the linchpin of the league's top rebounding team.
"I've learned a ton from Tinara," Bussell said. "Specifically I've learned patience, just when I catch the ball, taking my time, reading the defense figuring out if passing is the best option or taking it to the rack is the best option.
"And then Reyna, learning the rebounding aspect, just being a versatile player, being able to shoot, score, drive all that stuff. Watching them even warming up you can see how versatile both of them are and how patient they can be. It's just been awesome to have two high-caliber players in front of me. Something I continue to learn from every day."
Several of the Chippewa backups saw extended playing time as the big lead gave CMU coach Sue Guevara the luxury of clearing her bench beginning late in the third quarter.
"Our bench has been playing more in practice the last couple of days and that's a concerted effort on my part because I really believe our bench needs to keep improving if we're going to be able to make a run deep into March and, I think, for us to stay where we are in conference play," she said. "To have them get in today and contribute and get the confidence, I think that's a big thing. It was good for them and I also think it's good for our crowd to see them."
Andrea Cecil, Carly Santoro and Haley Puk scored seven points apiece to lead Bowling Green, which finished just 19-for-60 (31.7 percent) from the floor. It matched the lowest shooting percentage by a Division I Chippewa opponent this season.