Next national powers for CMU basketball

MOUNT PLEASANT, Michigan – A pair of heavyweights are ahead for Central Michigan basketball.

The Chippewa women will face Michigan’s No.13 on Saturday (1 p.m.) at McGuirk Arena, and the CMU men will face No.1 Gonzaga on Monday (11 p.m.) in Las Vegas.

The CMU women are 1-2 after beating Valparaiso, 65-61, on Sunday. Michigan is 3-0.

Saturday’s game is a White Out; fans are encouraged to wear a white shirt. CMU will honor five of its legends in a post-match ceremony with the jersey withdrawals of former players Crystal Bradford, Reyna frost, Presley hudson and Tinara Moore. Former coach Sue Guevara will also be honored.

Hudson is assistant to the coaching staff at CMU. Frost is the graduated manager of the Wolverines. Bradford and Moore are now playing professionally. Guevara retired after the 2018-19 season, his 12e as trainer of the Chippewas.

CMU junior guard Molly davis became the 32sd player in program history to score 1,000 career points in the Chippewas’ victory at Valpo.

Saturday’s game is the 28e meeting between the Chippewas and the Wolverines. Michigan leads the series, 16-11. CMU’s last win in the series dates back to 2005, 79-57, in Ann Arbor.

Chippewa’s men (1-2) beat Eastern Illinois, 62-61, on Monday for their first win of the season.

Their meeting with Gonzaga (3-0) is their first in the Good Sam Empire Classic at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Chippewas and Bulldogs, who finished last season as the national runner-up, are scheduled to start at 11 p.m. ET.

CMU is set to face Bellarmine in its second classic match on Tuesday, November 23 (7 p.m.).

Chippewa’s men have never met Gonzaga or Bellarmine, who is in his second season as a Division I program. The Knights played from 1978 to 2020 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. They won the National Division II title in 2011 and made Final Four appearances in 2012, 2015 and 2017.

A year ago, Gonzaga was leading the nation in field goal percentage at .549 and the Knights were third (.508).

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