Women’s basketball will play its fifth-straight opponent that qualified for the NCAA tournament last season when it welcomes the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay at noon today.
Earlier this season, the Chippewas played UW-GB on the road and lost 75-48. CMU sophomore guard Jessica Green is coming off two 15-plus point performances against Notre Dame and Purdue.
Head coach Sue Guevara said she anticipates the team to be ready and focused today and not to think about the past.
“I’ve talked to the team about focusing a lot on the present,” Guevara said. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job of focusing on that and sticking to the game plan. This team is resilient. We know we can compete, but we also know we have to finish against these kinds of teams.
“We don’t have a high margin of error, so we have to make sure we execute on both ends.”
The Phoenix are another physical team that looks to score inside with senior Stephanie Sension and freshman Mariah Monke. UW-GB also relies on its players who can spot up and shoot from beyond the arc.
Guevara said she looks to play an up-tempo offense, forcing the Phoenix man defense to come out to the perimeter and defend.
“Offensively, because they run a sagging, switching man, the lane will be clogged,” Guevara said. “We have to be real patient and force them to come out to play us; move the ball side to side, move the ball north and south and work the shot clock. We’re going to get high-percentage shots, and that’s all a matter of finishing.”
Defensively, the focus is on challenging shots and matching UW-GB’s physical play.
“Defensive transition is going to be very big,” Guevara said. “They have kids that can spot up and take it to the basket. Green Bay is really physical. Early rebounding and positioning is going to be really key for us.
“It’s going to be very important to play great defense. The five kids that Green Bay puts on the floor can all score. They’re all good three-point shooters and are a smart basketball team. They are a well-oiled machine.”
Today’s game will be the third-annual Hoops for Hunger game. The mid-Michigan community is helped by food donations and many of the local schools that participated in the food drive were invited to attend Wednesday’s game.
Guevara said she enjoys the community involvement and how this program is affiliated with such a great program each year.
“The community is such a part of Central Michigan, and Central Michigan is such a part of the community,” she said. “It’s such a needed initiative for us to help people here in mid-Michigan. This is something that has been a tradition for our program, and it helps bring the community into McGuirk.”