Lindsay Gerber, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Presley Hudson posted 27 points to lead a dynamic Central Michigan women's basketball team to a 79-58 win over the College of Charleston on Friday in McGuirk Arena.
The College of Charleston put the pressure on CMU, causing a slow start for the Chippewas in the first quarter. Central Michigan also made some costly mistakes, recording two turnovers before they even had points on the board.
"Who is this team?" CMU coach Sue Guevara asked her players after calling a timeout less than two minutes into the game. "We had lackadaisical passes, we had more turnovers than we had points. It was stunning to me how we started this game. It was very disappointing. The message was to play for what's across your chest."
The Chippewas trailed by as many as 11 points midway through the first quarter, but a 3-pointer by Aleah Swary sparked a 13-3 CMU run, giving the Chippewas the momentum they needed. Micaela Kelly hit a 3-pointer with 37 seconds remaining in the first quarter to give the Chippewas their first lead, 19-18. They never trailed again.
"We can score when we need to score," Guevara said. "We have five people that can score, but you can't score if you turn it over. Aleah came off the bench for us and gave great energy and she shot. We were passing up shots and once we stopped doing that, they started going in."
After halftime, the Chippewas ran with their lead and didn't look back. Central Michigan led by as many as 29 points in the fourth quarter.
Hudson made 7-of-12 from beyond the arc en route to her 27 points, while Kelly continued to showcase her all-around skill with another early season standout performance: 10 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and two blocks.
"We have a lot of weapons on the floor," Hudson said. "So if they take away one, another person is going to step up every game. It's hard to contain all five people, so we'll all step up."
Reyna Frost had 17 rebounds as the Chippewas outboarded the Cougars, 47-34.
"I've challenged our guards to rebound," Guevara said. "That's been a big thing for us. Rebounding has been key. We have a lot of extra possessions because of players like Frost."
Central Michigan finished 13-of-31 (41.9 percent) from 3-point range and was 25-of-60 from the field overall. The Chippewas also made 16-of-19 free throw attempts and are shooting 90.5 percent from the line on the season.
Darien Huff led the College of Charleston with 14. The Cougars shot 35.9 percent from the field.
The Chippewas are scheduled to head to the Bahamas for the Junkanoo Jam. It is CMU's first road game of the season. The Chippewas open the two-day event on Nov. 24 against San Diego State (2-0).
Friday's matinee at McGuirk Arena -- the announced attendance was 3,084 -- was CMU's annual Hoops for Hunger. Ten schools participated, donating more than 53,000 pounds of non-perishable food for the Greater Lansing Food Bank.