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Central Michigan Handles LSU in Opening Round of NCAA Tournament

The host Buckeyes are up next for the Chippewas

Kenneth Bailey

The LSU Lady Tigers and Central Michigan Chippewas tipped off at 11:15 on Saint Paddy’s day in the old St. John Arena on Ohio State’s campus. The Lady Tigers came into the game ranked in the AP poll, while the Chippewas were ranked higher in the RPI.

The game started off like many do, with the two teams playing tentative, before CMU started to find the bottom of the net more frequently, building a 26-16 lead after the first quarter. Presley Hudson, mostly outside, was 4-6 for 10 points, while Tinara Moore was 3-5 for 6, mostly inside.

The second quarter started much the same as the first, as the Chippewas built up a 34-23 lead. Then LSU came fast and furious with the defense, which seemed to rattle the Chippewas a bit. Tenara Moore played big, which allowed the Chippewas to retain the lead going into the half, but it was down to a precarious 2 points, 40-38.

Reyna Frost and Micaela Kelly helped Moore, who played fantastic all game, to build the CMU lead to 62-53 after 3 quarters.

In the fourth quarter, LSU again made a run like they did in the first half. Adding to their optimism was Reyna Frost having to sit with 4 fouls. Freshman Kyra Bussell came in to the game for the first time, and got a layup. A short time later, she calmly knocked down a couple of free throws, which seemed to energize both the crowd and the team.

After Frost later fouled out, Bussell was back in to clinch the final rebound as the Chippewas closed out the win, 78-69.

Tenara Moore led the Chippewas with 25 points, while Micaela Kelly, who played fantastic down the stretch, finished with 17. Reyna Frost had a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Chloe Jackson led the Lady Tigers with 24 points.

The Chippewas play number 3 seed and host Ohio State on Monday. The Buckeyes beat George Washington in their opener, 87-45.