MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Central Michigan scored the first 14 points of the game and never looked back in recording an 88-62 victory over South Dakota State in non-conference women's basketball action Friday night at McGuirk Arena.
The Chippewas, playing their home opener, improved to 2-2 overall. SDSU dropped to 3-3 on the season.
Kerby Tamm keyed the early Central Michigan outburst with a pair of three-pointers before Crystal Bradford scored a pair of baskets off the bench. The Jackrabbits finally got on the board at the 13:55 mark on a free throw by Katie Lingle.
After trailing by 18 on two occasions, the Jackrabbits the trimmed the margin to 33-24 with three and a half minutes to play with a 13-4 run that included two three-pointers by Rachel Walters and a trey by Gabby Boever.
Central Michigan led 40-28 at halftime.
In the second half, SDSU again whittled the deficit to nine on a three-pointer by Tara Heiser three minutes in, but the Chippewas scored the next eight points to end any hopes of a Jackrabbit comeback. Central Michigan's final lead of 26 points was its largest of the night.
The Chippewas shot better than 50 percent from the field in each half, finishing the night 33-of-63 overall for 52.4 percent. CMU made half of its three-point attempts, 11-of-22, and made 11-of-17 at the line for 64.7 percent.
Bradford led all players with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field, while fellow reserve Niki DiGuilio added 16. Tamm tallied 15 points - all on three-pointers - while Jessica Green contributed 13 points and six assists, while Taylor Johnson posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
CMU held a 41-29 advantage in rebounding.
Walters connected on four three-pointers en route to tying a career high with 12 points for the Jackrabbits. Megan Waytashek also scored 12 points, with Tara Heiser scoring a season-high 10. Leah Dietel led SDSU on the boards with eight.
The Jackrabbits ended the night 20-of-55 from the field, 36.4 percent, including 11-of-30 from three-point range. SDSU was efficient at the line, making 11-of-14 attempts for 78.6 percent.
SDSU also was done in by turnovers, committing a season-high 24.
The Jackrabbits return to home action Wednesday against Marquette. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at Frost Arena, with the men's game against North Dakota to follow at 8:30 p.m.
NOTES: Friday's game was the first-ever meeting between SDSU and Central Michigan in women's basketball ... the Jackrabbits are 2-1 against Mid-American Conference opponents since moving to NCAA Division I at the start of the 2004-05 season ... the 88 points by Central Michigan were the most the Jackrabbits have given up in a regulation game in the Division I era ... Walters' previous 12-point night also came in the state of Michigan — at Oakland on Jan. 30, 2012 ... attendance was 590