The Eastern Michigan Women’s Basketball team had its season come to an end with an 88-80 loss to rival Central Michigan in the Mid-American Conference Tournament quarter finals. Jenna Annecchiarico had 21 points in the last game of her freshman year.
The Eagles started off very well, getting out to a 21-16 lead after the first quarter. Danielle Minott made a jumper on the first possession of the game and EMU used that to keep momentum on its side. Even though Central Michigan fought back in the second quarter to take a 36-32 halftime lead, it was clear the Eagles were going to remain close.
The Chippewas connected on 42.9 percent of their shots in the second quarter, after EMU knocked down 45.0 percent in the opening period.
Central Michigan was able to get its lead up to six in the third quarter after MAC Player of the Year, Reyna Frost, finished inside the paint. But every time the Chippewas made a run, Eastern Michigan got right back into it.
Corrione Cardwell knocked down a jumper with 2:33 left in the quarter to bring the Eagles within three points and the period ended with the score 52-48 in favor of Central Michigan.
In the final quarter, Eastern Michigan looked fresh and ready to go. It seemed as though the team wasn’t ready for the season to come to an end and Autumn Hudson scored in the paint to put EMU up 61-59 with just over five minutes to go.
The lead would trade hands down the stretch, but in the final moments, the ball was in the hands of Minott. She got to the left side of the rim and finished the lay up off the backboard to give the Eagles a 67-66 lead with 38 seconds left.
Courtnie Lewis would hit six straight free throws to give Eastern Michigan a 73-70 lead with 5.8 seconds remaining. The inbound went to Presley Hudson and she weaved up the court before setting her feet right behind the 3-point line. Hudson pulled up and knocked it down right at the buzzer to tie the game 73-73 and sent it to overtime.
“Well, what kind of emotions do you think you should have when a 3-pointer goes down in the last couple seconds and the game is that close?” Minott asked. “You know, it’s tough. You know, we slacked off. She hits an incredible shot. Yeah, the emotions, you can’t really explain those.”
In the extra period, the Chippewas had all of the momentum and used that to jump out to an 80-75 lead. Minott fouled out with 3:08 left in the game. That felt like the final blow and EMU was never able to get even with Central Michigan.
The Chippewas pulled away for an 88-80 victory after Hudson finished with 11 points in overtime. She finished with 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Frost also had 28 points, while grabbing 13 rebounds for a double-double. Cardwell had 17 points on 41.1 percent shooting from the field. Minott, who was named a MAC honorable mention athlete, had 14 points in her final collegiate game.
“Really proud of my team's effort,” coach Fred Castro said. “They did everything I asked them to do. Couldn’t be prouder of their effort. I mean we have all freshmen and sophomores. We have zero juniors, we have one senior. It played out today, you see what Reyna Frost and Hudson did. Those are seniors. They understand how this game is played at this level and how to win these kind of games.”