Women’s basketball tasted the sting of a conference loss for the first time Wednesday after months of being the dominant team in the Mid-American Conference.
Bowling Green finally tarnished Central Michigan’s perfect MAC record,winning 67-55 in their second meeting this season.
Home-court advantage has offered consistency in the series this seaosn, with CMU beating BGSU in Mount Pleasant earlier in the season. The Stroh Center crowd has been known as a hostile environment throughout the conference, causing adversity for any team that enters through its doors.
CMU head coach Sue Guevara said her team did not rise to the occasion in the environment. It is something they will need to improve on if they want to be successful and win the MAC tournament, which will be CMU’s only shot at punching a ticket to the big dance.
“I think we have to work on the mental aspect of the game and I’ve got to push (the team) and make them really mad in practice – call some really bad fouls to see how they’re going to react to it,” Guevara said. “We have got to do a better job at retreating and not just ring someones hip, by squaring our hips up.”
The Chippewas were able to keep Wednesday night’s game competitive through the first half of play, but stumbled out of the gate after halftime. In the second, junior forward Jas’Mine Bracey scored a lay-up with 18:06 remaining but the team went cold afterward, not making another basket until the 11:57 mark.
“We lost the game in the first three minutes of the second half where we got outscored 13-4,” Guevara said. “We gave up too many easy lay-ups because of their penetration.”
The now-snapped winning streak started after a loss to Dayton in late December. CMU’s 3-point shooting was strong on the stretch.
CMU’s play transformed throughout the season, aided by the defensive efforts of juniors Bracey and Crystal Bradford.
Ball State and Western Michigan are the two remaining home games on the women’s schedule.
CMU will play at 8 p.m. Saturday night at Northern Illinois.