Moore, Central Michigan set for Sweet 16 showdown vs. Oregon
Spokane, Wash. — For the first time in her career, Tinara Moore of the Central Michigan women’s basketball team hit two straight 3-pointers.
In four seasons at CMU the senior forward had never hit two straight 3-pointers in a game before doing so March 19 in a win against Ohio State at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Moore’s 3-pointers came in a third quarter stretch in which the Chippewas went 7-of-8 from the 3-point line. The Chippewas built a lead in the second quarter by outscoring Ohio State 25-6, and kept their lead with hot shooting in the third quarter, resulting in a 95-78 CMU win.
“Have I shot two straight 3s in a row and made them both in a row in a game? No, but I was open so I just took the shot,” Moore said, while her teammates laughed. “I was confident in myself and I just shot the ball freely and they went in.”
The win advanced Central Michigan to its first Sweet 16.
“I always tell (Moore) to shoot the 3,” head coach Sue Guevara said. “What you guys see that day, we see every day in practice. Unfortunately, now all the other coaches see (Moore can shoot from 3-point range).”
Moore, who attended Southgate Anderson High School, was inspired to play basketball by her two older brothers, Terrance and Matthew. In Detroit, her parents Nzinga and Nicole are police officers.
After graduating from Anderson in 2014, Moore, along with former high school rival Cassie Breen, came to Central Michigan. Now, the senior forward is leading CMU with 214 career blocks.
Moore is the reigning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year. She also repeated as the MAC Defensive Player of the Year, the fourth time that’s been done in MAC history.
In the NCAA Tournament, Moore is averaging 22.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and one block. She has only stepped off the court one time during play — for two minutes.
No. 11 CMU will face No. 2 Oregon on Saturday in the third round of the NCAA Tournament at Spokane Arena in Spokane, Washington. The game is being televised on ESPN.
Moore will likely be guarding Oregon’s 6-foot-4 sophomore forward Ruthy Hebard, a two-time All-Pac-12 forward averaging 17.5 points and 8.8 rebounds.
“(The matchup) will be interesting,” Moore said. “She’s a really good basketball player and post player. I am going to have to move my feet to defend her well like every other post player.”
At the end of the regular season, the Ducks (32-4) were No. 6 in the AP Poll.
In the only meeting between the teams, the Chippewas topped Oregon behind Crystal Bradford’s 34-point game in 2014. Senior guard Breen scored three points and played 18 minutes in that game. Moore did not appear on the court against the Ducks.
Dylan Goetz is a freelance writer.
Central Michigan vs. Oregon
Tip-off: 6 Saturday, Spokane Arena, Spokane, Wash.
Records: No. 11 Central Michigan 30-4; No. 2 Oregon 32-4
Up next: Winner advances to the Elite Eight, to face either Notre Dame or Texas A&M.
Central Michigan at Liberty
Tip-off: 2 Saturday, Vines Center, Lynchburg, Va.
Records: Central Michigan 21-14; Liberty 21-14
Up next: Winner advances to the March 28 semifinals.