All five starters scored in double figures as Central Michigan beat Eastern Michigan, 67-64, in a second-round Mid-American Conference women’s basketball tournament game at Cleveland on Wednesday.
Central (26-4) opened the fourth quarter with a 52-41 lead that swelled to 62-49 on a Tinara Moore layup with 3:53 remaining before Eastern (11-20) made things interesting by closing the game with a 15-5 run.
Danielle Minott closed the lead to 65-64 with a jump shot with 41 seconds left but those were the final points Eastern scored.
Two Reyna Frost free throws with 19 seconds left provided the final margin of victory.
Moore scored 17, Frost and Cassie Breen 14 each and Presley Hudson and Micaele kelly 10 each for Central. Frost also had 14 rebounds for Central, which got just two points from its bench.
For Eastern, Minott scored 27, Sasha Dailey 13 and Courtnie Lewis 12.
Central outrebounded Eastern 50-34 and outshot it 44.8 percent to 33.8 percent.
The Chippewas will face Miami (Ohio) at 11 a.m. Friday in a semifinal game.
More state women
Western Michigan 65, Ball State 54: At Cleveland, Najee Smith scored 14, Breanna Mobley 13 and Deja Wimby 12 for Western (18-14), which advanced to a Friday semifinal against Buffalo. Carmen Grande scored 16 for Ball State (24-6).
No. 12 North Carolina 78, Syracuse 59: Theo Pinson had 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and Kenny Williams scored 17 points as North Carolina (23-9) advance to the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. The sixth-seeded Tar Heels face third-seeded Miami on Thursday night in the quarterfinals at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Porter back for Missouri
Missouri standout Michael Porter Jr. will return from back surgery to play in the Southeastern Conference Tournament today, marking his first time in a game since the season opener.
Coach Cuonzo Martin announced the change in Porter’s status on Wednesday, a day before the fifth-seeded Tigers (20-11) open against Georgia or Vanderbilt in the second round.
The 6-foot-10 Porter, the top prep prospect in the country last season, has been out since playing two minutes in the Tigers’ season-opening win over Iowa State.
He underwent surgery in November and was expected to miss the rest of the season.
After being cleared to practice two weeks ago, Porter showed enough progress that he and Martin felt comfortable putting the forward into a game.
MAC women’s tournament
Game 1: No. 9 Eastern Michigan 84, No. 8 Northern Illinois 77
Game 2: No. 5 Ohio 85, No. 12 Akron 73
Game 3: No. 10 Kent State 80, No. 7 Toledo 76, OT
Game 4: No. 6 Western Michigan 85, No. 11 Bowling Green 71
Game 5: No. 1 Central Michigan 67, Eastern Michigan 64
Game 6: No. 4 Miami 69, Ohio 66
Game 7: No. 2 Buffalo 72, Kent State 50
Game 8: Western Michigan 65, No. 3 Ball State 54
Central Michigan (26-4) vs. Miami (21-9), 11 a.m.
Buffalo (26-4) vs. Western Michigan (18-14), 1:30
Semifinal winners, 11 a.m. (CBSSN)