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Gameday Prep: Can UB women contain Central Michigan shooters?


MAC Championship: No. 2 UB vs. No. 1 Central Michigan

11 a.m. Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.

Radio 1520 AM. TV: CBS Sports Network.

Records: UB (27-4). Central Michigan (27-4).

The Set-Up: Both teams are expected to make the NCAA Tournament, no matter who wins because UB is No. 19 in the NCAA RPI, and CMU is No. 24. The teams split in the regular season. CMU won at home, 86-79, on Jan. 31. UB won at home, 85-82, on Feb. 14. UB beat CMU in the MAC title game on Stephanie Reid's buzzer-beater in 2016.

The Match-Up: Central Michigan is a little more potent on offense. UB is much better on defense. UB ranks 14th in the nation in defensive efficiency. Central ranks seventh in the nation in offensive efficiency.

In MAC play, Central is No. 1 in scoring (83.8) and Buffalo is No. 3 (80.1). On defense Buffalo is No. 2 and Central is seventh.

UB's defense of the three-point line will be critical. Central leads the MAC in threes per game and three-point percentage.

Central has a superb inside-outside threat. Center Tinara Moore is the MAC's player of the year. She averages 21 points and 10.4 rebounds. Central's dead-eye shooter is Presley Hudson, who averages 18.4 a game.

The Stamina Factor: UB has cruised to easy wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Central has had nail-biting wins in both games. Four of Central's five starters have played 34-plus minutes the past two games. UB center Cassie Oursler played only 17 and 15 minutes the past two games. Oursler and Summer Hemphill will have the challenge of guarding Moore, but they should have the fresh legs to do it.

The Depth Factor: UB plays 12 players. Central goes six deep.

Bottom Line: If it's a war of stamina or attrition, UB has the big edge. If Central's awesome shooters have a hot day, the Chippewas have the edge.

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