The Central Michigan women’s basketball team lost to Northwestern 82-72 Sunday afternoon, despite a career-high 25 points and six steals from sophomore Jessica Green.
“Jessica was a warrior today,” head coach Sue Guevara said. “She was making it happen on both ends of the floor. She was one player that was able to get into the paint and finish.”
The Chippewas (1-1) trailed 66-54 with 8:13 remaining, but an 11-1 run for CMU, capped by a three-point shot by junior Taylor Johnson, made the score 67-65 with just over five minutes to go.
“I thought we dug ourselves a hole, especially in the first half,” Guevara said. “The way we ended the first half was pretty disappointing. Our intensity was better in the second half. We were able to get it within two with our press.”
That’s as close as the Chippewas would get, as NU (2-0) responded with a 7-0 run of their own en route to the 10-point win.
The game was close for the majority of the first half with NU leading 26-24 with two minutes left. A layup by NU senior guard Kendall Hackney gave the Wildcats a four-point lead. A layup by sophomore Karly Roser with three seconds left made the lead six, and, on the ensuing inbounds pass, freshman Maggie Lyon stole the ball and drained a three, increasing NU’s lead to nine at half.
“That was a huge swing in the game,” Guevara said. “We didn’t cut off the player’s lane to the basket, and then we inbound the ball and throw a lazy pass in and it’s intercepted. That’s the wrong kind of momentum heading into halftime.”
Sophomore guard Crystal Bradford added 12 points and led CMU with 10 rebounds. Johnson added 17 points but had just four rebounds.
“Taylor came off the bench tonight, and I think she did a good job for us,” Guevara said. “I think sometimes, though, she has to understand that she has to pass the ball. We also need her to get more rebounds; she played her guts out, and I can’t fault her for her effort.”
CMU was 15 of 18 on free throws but shot only one in the first half.
The Chippewas conclude their season-opening three-game road trip on Saturday at Wisconsin-Green Bay.