01/30/2021 | 1 PM
TOLEDO, Ohio – In a running game, whoever runs last usually wins.
Molly Davis scored 27 points and Central Michigan made a season high of 63 percent field attempts on Wednesday when they defeated Toledo (83-74) in a Mid-American Conference game at the Rockets’ Savage Arena.
It was the Chippewas’ second straight win as they improved to 9-5, 7-3 MAC. Toledo is 8-6, 4-6.
How it happened
While the CMU held onto a 70-66 lead, Davis hit a 3-pointer at 3:45 to trigger an 8-3 boost, which ended with an increase in chippewas by nine, 78-69, with just under a minute of play ended. The CMU made five of their six free-throw attempts in the final 48 seconds to keep Toledo at bay.
The CMU started like a burning house like on Saturday in Akron, leading 25-8 after a quarter and 48-30 at halftime. The CMU hit six of their nine 3-point attempts and made 72.4 percent of their field goal attempts in the first half.
It was Toledo’s turn in the third quarter, scoring six triples in the 10-minute stanza, beating CMU 29-13. The Rockets took the lead with a Soleil Barnes Triple in the fourth quarter, just 13 seconds ahead of 62-61.
It was the last of 12 3-pointers Toledo would do on the night the missiles missed their next seven from a long distance.
The victory came in a place that has traditionally been difficult for the CMU to get. The Chippewas have lost their last two games at Savage, and Wednesday’s win was only the second in their last seven games for the four-time defending MAC champions.
“I thought we came out really ready to play in the first half,” said CMU coach Heather Oesterle said. “We didn’t come out with that much fire in the second half. They kept running but we responded and scored some big hits on the track.”
“It’s really difficult to get in here and win. I’m just proud of the effort.”
Davis on a tear
Davis, a second guard, made nine of her 13 field goal attempts and finished five of eight out of 3-point range. It was the fourth game in a row that she has scored 20 or more points. She reached a career high of 32 points in Saturday’s win against Akron.
She also led the Chippewas with eight rebounds.
Micaela Kelly added 17 points and a season high of eight assists against just two turnovers for the Chippewas while Jahari Smith had 16 points and Kyra Bussell added 14.
This was a season high for Smith, a junior striker who made eight of her ten field attempts.
Smith and Bussell scored 15 field goals in 22 attempts. Each had six rebounds. It was Bussell’s highest score in six games. CMU finished with 42 points in color to the rockets 20.
“It was nice to have Kyra back,” said Oesterle. “I thought she did a really good job inside and out. And Jahari, she’s getting better with every game. If we get a consistent Jahari that we’ve gotten lately, it makes us a lot better.”
• The Chippewas finished with 21 assists, the second highest total of the season.
• The CMU made 34 of its 54 field gate attempts, including nine of 18 3-point attempts against the missiles. In their last two games, the Chippewas are combined 70 out of 123 (56.9 percent) off the floor, including a 19-for-41 clip (46.3 percent) from the 3-point line.
• In her last four games, Davis has taken 36 of her 58 shots from the ground (62 percent) and in her last two games she is 11 to 19 (57.8 percent) from 3-point.
CMU, ranked 19th in this week’s CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25, will entertain Buffalo on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the McGuirk Arena
The Chippewas defeated the Bulls 79-63 on January 9th in Buffalo. The 13th-place Bulls are 9-4, 6-2. The game against Kent State scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed.