Basketball / Sports

CMU women’s hoops look to get back to winning ways at Ball State Thursday

Following its first Mid-American Conference loss over the weekend, the women’s basketball looks to get back to its winning ways at 7 p.m. Thursday at Ball State.

After scoring more than 90 points in two-straight games and outscoring opponents by a combined 70 points, the Chippewas allowed Bowling Green to shoot above 50 percent and run away with a win at Stroh Center.

CMU will be looking to start a new streak by putting an end to Ball State’s four-game winning streak. The Cardinals come into Thursday’s game with the sixth best offense and the third best defense in the MAC.

“We had a pretty good fan contingency there (at BG) and those fans didn’t recognize that team,” head coach Sue Guevara said of Sunday’s loss.”I think that what we got caught up with was not being humble enough and understanding what we were going into.”

The Chippewas are going into a tough test with their next three games against teams with winning records in conference play, starting with BSU.

Freshman guard Nathalie Fontaine has been crucial to Ball State’s success in conference play this season. The 6-foot-2 Swedish guard has been a key contributor offensively, averaging 12.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game during conference play to lead her team and is the reigning MAC West Player of the Week.

Junior guard Brandy Woody is another weapon who averages 11.6 points per game and has 12 double-digit scoring performances this season.

Guevara said that she expects another tough road test for the team when it plays the Cardinals because she sees similarities between them and Bowling Green.

“They have the MAC West Player of the Week. She is a really nice post player that can run the floor and is good from the free throw line,” Guevara said.”They have players that hit the three and push the ball down the floor. They are disciplined defensively and like to pack it in.”

CMU is the highest scoring team in the MAC during conference play, averaging 78 points per game and, despite giving up 84 points to the Falcons, the defense is still holding conference opponents under 60 points per game.

A big portion of their scoring has come from beyond the arc. The Chippewas are averaging 8.5 three-point field goals per game in conference play, which is best in the MAC.

Sophomore guard Crystal Bradford leads the Chippewas in made three-pointers during MAC play, with 17, while junior guard Niki DiGuilio leads CMU this season with 36 made threes.

CMU will look for Bradford to have a strong game against Ball State’s third ranked defense, she fought through flu-like symptoms and scored 14 points to go with nine rebounds in her team’s loss to BGSU.

Following losses this season, the Chippewas have been able to bounce back and Guevara said she is confident the team will repeat after productive practices this week.

“I have been encouraged with the intensity in practice,” Guevara said. “I thought everyone has been working hard and we have had people producing. We have addressed our transition defense a lot. It’s a matter of picking up the ball and communicating.”

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