The Chippewas struck first, with Tinara Moore getting the first points on a layup. They continued to pour it on, stretching the lead to 20-6.
The Broncos regained their composure, and fought back, with Deja Wimby stealing the ball and laying it up right before the end of the quarter, to close the gap to 20-13.
Moore and Wimby traded threes to open the second quarter.
The Chippewas started rolling, and after a couple of Reyna Frost buckets inside, they were up 29-16.
Like they did in the first quarter, the Broncos rallied. Their stars, Breanna Mobley and Meredith Shipman closed the gap to 31-24, before Moore made a layup thanks to a Cassie Breen assist, and gave us our halftime score, 33-24.
Mobley and Shipman and company were able to score early against the Chippewas, but weren’t getting stops.
Eventually, they got one, and momentum started to swing in their favor. A Najee Smith three pulled the score within 4 before the teams traded turnovers and the score was 40-36 at the 4:40 media timeout.
After trading scores, a Wimby layup brought the Broncos within 2.
Cassie Breen answered for the Chippewas, stretching the lead to 48-42 before Marley Hill answered with a jumper.
Jewel Cotton got an offensive rebound, and Presley Hudson made a nifty little move and drove the lane before dishing to an easy Frost layup.
At the end of the third, it was 50-44, Central Michigan, and anyone’s game.
The teams traded baskets with a few free throws mixed in, and the score was 57-50 at the 4:43 media timeout. You could sense the tension rising for both teams, and the desperation growing in Western Michigan.
Reyna Frost got an offensive rebound and knocked down both free throws, putting the Chippewas up 9.
Sophomore Meredith Miller knocked down a huge three on the wing, and Deja Wimby drove the to the basket to cut the lead to 4. After a traveling call against Central Michigan, Deja Wimby drove to the basket, made a nice little jump stop and got the foul. She knocked down both to make it a 2 point game with 3:27.
Moore then hit a tough running left hander to put the Chippewas back up 4.
A foul away from the ball gave Frost two free throws which she calmly knocked down.
WMU had chances, but just couldn’t get the ball to drop. They were down 6 with the ball and 1:20 left in the game. It would take a minor miracle to win the game.
Najee Smith made a three off the pass from Wimby, and pulled the Broncos within three with 1:02 left.
WMU closed down defensively, and an air-ball by CMU caused a shot clock violation, and Shipman quickly drove the lane and set Mobley up who knocked it down, putting the Broncos down 1 with :23 second left.
CMU couldn’t get the ball in bounds, and WMU had a chance to take the lead. Najee Smith took a three from the flats and knocked it down with 10 seconds left.
The Broncos got the steal, Shipman knocked down the free throws, and the upset was complete.
Western Michigan Broncos 67, Central Michigan Chippewas 63
Deja Wimby led the Broncos with 17. Breanna Mobley added 14, Smith 12, and Marley Hill 10. Shipman had 9, it was a total team win for the Broncos.
Reyna Frost led the Chippewas with 18 points and 17 rebounds. Moore and Breen had 13 points apiece, and Jewel Cotton added 12 points and 7 rebounds.
What an amazing game to open the action in Cleveland, or as coach Shane Clipfell said in his post game interview, “Believeland”.