Lindsay Gerber, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Central Michigan women's basketball team is off to the program's best start since 2005-06 as it steamrolled over Aquinas, 96-47, in a nonconference game on Thursday at McGuirk Arena.
The Chippewas are 5-1 and riding a five-game winning streak. They will look to extend their streak as they travel to Oakland on Sunday (1 p.m.). CMU topped the Grizzlies, 70-67, in double-overtime last season.
Presley Hudson led the Chippewas with 17 points while Reyna Frost recorded her third double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Tinara Moore also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds Central Michigan. Moore played 16 minutes, Frost 23.
In a game where CMU took the lead and ran, the bench had its chance to show what it can do. Freshman Maddy Watters, who posted nine points and seven assists, came off the bench to lead the young players against the Saints.
"I just tried to relax more in the Bahamas," said Watters, referring to the Chippewas' two victories and its championship last weekend at the Junkanoo Jam. "I learned to trust my teammates and myself. I needed some confidence and those games boasted my confidence."
Central Michigan dominated from the get-go and led by 37 points, 61-24, at halftime. The Chippewas' largest lead came in the final two minutes, when a 3-pointer from Watters swelled the deficit to 53 points, 82-29.
"The last thing I wanted us to do was to come into the game like we didn't have to show up," said CMU coach Sue Guevara, who has the Chippewas off to their best start in her 11 years in charge of the program. "This game wasn't so much about Aquinas but it was about us getting better. We made sure we had goals. If you have that championship mentality, it's all about you. That's how we came in. The biggest game we can play is the game we're playing right now."
CMU's bench contributed 37 points as the Chippewas shot 46.5 percent from field goal range and made 14-of-33 attempts from beyond the arc. The Chippewas also outrebounted Aquinas, 51-31.
"I was happy with our bench," said Guevara. "We've been talking about how our bench has been contributing and to see us get some stuff done offensively is good."
Carley Andrews led Aquinas (6-4) with nine points. The Chippewas limited the Saints to 17 field goals on 59 attempts (28.8 percent).
Oakland is 3-3 and coming off an 83-43 victory at Canisius. The Grizzlies' losses have come to Michigan, Michigan State and Northwestern.
"We'll talk about Oakland tomorrow," Guevara said. "We get 24 hours to enjoy this then we get to be back at it against Oakland. They love to shoot the ball."