Chippewas Claim First MAC Tournament Championship In 29 Years

Updated 3/16/2013


MAC Tournament Bracket
Central Michigan 86, Akron 68
CLEVELAND, OHIO--The fourth-seeded Central Michigan Chippewas won their first MAC Championship since 1984 by defeating the third-seeded Akron Zips 86-68. The Chippewas advance to the NCAA Tournament and will find out their seeding and opponent March 18th on Selection Monday. 
In their three MAC Tournament victories, the Chippewas averaged 77 points a game, while holding their opponents to 59 points a game.
It was a total team effort from the Chippewas as six players-Jessica Schroll, Crystal Bradford, Niki DiGuilio, Brandie Baker, Taylor Johnson and Jalisa Olive-scored in double-figures. Schroll led all scorers with 14 points and seven rebounds while Bradford brought in a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Schroll, Baker and Bradford were named to the All-MAC Tournament Team, while Bradford was named the MAC Tournament MVP.
Akron grabbed its largest lead of the game, 26-20, with 7:40 to play in the first half. The Chippewas responded by closing the half out on a 19-9 run as Crystal Bradford hit a three at the buzzer to send the Chippewas into the locker room up 39-35. 
That momentum carried over into the second half as the Chippewas shot 50 percent from the floor and made six three-pointers. Central Michigan opened up an 18 point lead in the second half with 9:46 to play. The Zips never came within 11 points the rest of the game.
The Zips had four players with double-digit scoring-Hanna Luburgh, Sina King, Taylor Ruper and Rachel Tecca. Luburgh finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Luburgh and Tecca were named to the MAC All-Tournament Team.
Akron’s 3-point shooting kept them in the game in the first half, as the Zips were 5-10 from the 3-point line. In the second half, the Zips went just  2-9 from beyond the arc.
Central Michigan controlled the paint, outscoring the Zips 46-26. 
The win moves Central Michigan to 21-11, while the loss drops Akron to 23-9. 
2013 All-Tournament Team
Hanna Luburgh, Akron
Rachel Tecca, Akron
Brandie Baker, Central Michigan
Jessica Schroll, Central Michigan
Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan - MVP