Central Michgian Defeats Toledo 84-71 In MAC WBB Opener

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Fired up Chips blast the Rockets in the second half to claim their first conference victory of 2014.

CMU's star player Crystal Bradford was the story of the second half and of this game. Bradford scored 22 points in the second half as she overcame a sluggish first half where she was 1-10 and had only two points. Bradford and her teamamtes lit McGuirk Arena up in the second half with a bombardment of threes and an uptempo game that was too much for UT to handle.

As a team, the Chippewas shot a torrid 44% from beyond the three point line. CMU Head Coach Sue Guevara said in the post-game TV interview that CMU's second half strategy was simple: Start penetrating into the paint. The strategy proved successful as the Chippewas began attacking the glass and started knocking down open threes. The Chippewas outscored the Rockets 49-34 in the second half.

The game was hotly contested in the first half with Toledo holding on to a 37-35 lead at intermission. Junior Inma Zanoguera scored the first six points of the second half for Toledo and it looked like the Rockets had taken control of the game. In a flash, Bradford took over by leading her team on two impressive offensive possessions that launched an 11-0 CMU run. A Bradford three put the Chippewas up 64-53. The dagger came a few moments later when another Bradford three put the game out of reach at 72-57. From there, the Chippewas cruised and ran out the clock.

CMU Senior guard Niki DiGuilio was 4-11 in three point attempts and now stands as the all-time CMU leader in three point field goals with 233. Zanoguera led the Rockets with 14 points.

CMU out rebounded Toledo 47-44 and also held an edge in points off turnovers 20-13.

Neither team will have a chance to collect any rust. Next up for the Rockets is a home clash against Northern Illinois on Thursday at 11:00 am. The Chippewas, road warriors so far this year, hit the road again for a battle against the Akron Zips next Thursday.

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