Chippewas blown away by Rockets shooting

Central Michigan head coach Sue Guevara hangs her head in reaction to missed free throw by freshman guard Jessica Green Wednesday evening against Toledo at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant. The Chippewas made only 31 percent of their total field goals during the 80-62 loss to the Rockets. (Andrew Kuhn/Staff Photographer)

It was a rough night for the Central Michigan women’s basketball team as it was blown away by Toledo 80-62 at McGuirk Arena Wednesday.

The 725 people in attendance saw the Rockets (17-7, 10-2 Mid-American Conference) shot lights out, 53 percent from the field, and 56 percent from 3-point range and the Chippewas (13-13, 5-7 MAC) had no answer.

“I was extremely, extremely disappointed in our effort,” head coach Sue Guevara said. “I think that was as poor of a performance as we’ve had all year.”

The CMU defense struggled to contain Toledo senior guard Haylie Linn whose only miss on the night was a desperation 3-pointer as the shot clock ran out.

Besides that miss she was perfect, ending the night shooting 9-for-10 from the field including 6-for-7 from behind the arc.

“Our defense sucked,” Guevara said. “It’s not like we didn’t know Linn could shoot the ball, it was like a mental block.”

There were a couple bright spots on what was a dark night for the Chippewas.

Junior guard Brandie Baker scored 13 points with five rebounds and four assists while sophomore forward Taylor Johnson continued to thrive since becoming a starter scoring 12 points and snatching five rebounds.

The CMU bench continued to produce as it outscored the Rockets bench 27-13. The Chippewas were led by freshman guard Crystal Bradford who had nine points, six rebounds and three steals after sitting out against Buffalo.

Rockets head coach Tricia Cullop, despite winning big, saw the potential the Chippewas have to be a threat come time for the MAC tournament.

“As this team continues to gel, I think Central (Michigan) is going to be very dangerous in the tournament,” Cullop said. “We feel fortunate to get this win tonight.”

Coming into the game CMU had the five seed in the MAC tournament making them a host for a first round matchup.

After the loss it dropped to the seven seed, which still gives it a home game to start the tournament.

“We have four games left and there’s nothing locked up whatsoever,” Guevara said. “If we have the same effort against Ball State that we did tonight the same result will happen.”

The Chippewas are on the road against the Cardinals Sunday where they have a history of struggles and the schedule doesn’t get easier.

They host Northern Illinois, but then have to travel to rival Western Michigan and return to McGuirk Arena to finish the regular season against MAC West leader Eastern Michigan on Feb. 28.