Bradford’s Career-High 31 Leads CMU to 92-69 Win Over Akron - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Bradford’s Career-High 31 Leads CMU to 92-69 Win Over Akron

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Box Score | Postgame Press Conference

MOUNT PLEASANT - Sophomore Crystal Bradford scored a career-high 31 points and Central Michigan shot 53.6 percent from the floor to improve to 6-0 in Mid-American Conference play with a 92-69 win over Akron Saturday afternoon.

The Chippewas (12-7, 6-0 MAC) knocked down 37 of their 69 attempts in the game and scored a season-high 54 points in the paint, but it was defense that proved key as they held the highest scoring team in the conference to just 34.3 percent shooting (23-for-67).

Trailing by one after a three by Akron's Carly Young, 13-12, the Chippewas were able to break the game open with a 12-2 run.

Sophomore Jessica Green sparked the run with a corner three on an assist from Bradford and returned the favor on the Chippewas' next possession as she found Bradford for a three of her own.

Senior Jessica Schroll scored four straight and Bradford stepped in front of a pass at midcourt and finished on the break, forcing the Zips (12-7, 3-3 MAC) into a 30-second timeout.

A layup by Bradford with 6:52 to play in the first half pushed the Chippewas' lead to double digits, 37-26, and senior Brandie Baker finished on the baseline with 27 seconds left in the half to give CMU its largest lead to that point, 51-33.

The hot shooting continued in the second half when junior Taylor Johnson knocked down a three from the corner to extend the lead to 60-41 with 16:30 to play and the Chippewas pushed their lead into the 20s on a layup by Baker at the 15:55 mark, 62-41.

After the Maroon and Gold grabbed their largest lead of the game on a jumper by Green with 7:11 to go in the contest, 79-53, the Zips used some hot shooting of their own to claw back into the game.

The Zips pulled as close to 14 behind three-point shooting by Taylor Ruper, but Bradford took over down the stretch to secure the win.

The three-time defending MAC West Player of the Week scored six straight points to extend the lead back to 20, the final two of which came on a spin move through three Akron defenders. She then found Jalisa Olive in the corner for yet another three, helping put the senior into double digits for the sixth time this season with 10 points.

Schroll and Green also finished in double figures for the Chippewas, scoring 16 and 15 respectively, while Baker finished with eight points, six boards and five assists.

The Chippewas will look to remain perfect in MAC play when they host Kent State Thursday at 7 p.m.