Central Michigan tops Eastern, advances to Championship
CLEVELAND, Ohio- In the Buckeye State, two teams from the Wolverine State took center stage at Quicken Loans Arena. The #2 seed Central Michigan Chippewas (22-9) took on the #6 seed Eastern Michigan Eagles (21-11) in the semi-finals of the Mid-American Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Eastern Michigan came out of the gates fast, taking a 24-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. Junior guard Phillis Webb set the pace, scoring 11 points in the opening period.
The Eagles would stretch the lead to 13 points, until Central answered with a run of their own. The run was capped by a Jasmine Harris three which forced the Eagles to call a timeout with the lead back down to five. The teams waivered back and forth until halftime, with the Eagles holding a 41-37 lead.
Central started the second half with a bang thanks to two Presley Hudson 3’s and another from Cassandra Breen. They would add another quick basket to cap an 11-4 run, and the Eagles lead was suddenly gone. The Chippewas would out score Eastern 32-17 in the third quarter and take a 69-58 lead into the final period.
The run didn’t stop there, as Central came out and dominated the start fourth quarter. The Eagles were unable to overcome the quarter and a half run, as the Chippewas went on to win the game 86-71.
Breen led all scorers with 24 points. Tinara Moore also added 21 points and 11 rebounds. Webb led Eastern Michigan with 20 points.
With the win, Central Michigan advances to the MAC Championship, where they will face the #8 seed Buffalo for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The game will take place at Quicken Loans Arena tomorrow at 1 p.m.