Women's basketball finds new ways to win against NIU
Central Michigan's women’s basketball team did not have its signature 3-point shooting in its win against Northern Illinois, but showed it could find other ways to win instead.
The Chippewas shot a season-low 19 percent from behind the arc Wednesday with only three players making three pointers.
Senior Niki DiGuilio was 1-for-9 on the night, with her lone 3-pointer coming at the 18:40 mark of the second half.
“Two words, it’s called the struggle bus. I don’t have much to say, I just didn’t hit my shots," DiGuilio said. "I did not preform well last game. I’m in a slump. I have to get off the struggle bus and I cannot hold my head down. I’m on the struggle bus, but I’ll get off it. Everyone knows I hit threes.”
CMU head coach Sue Guevara was supportive of her three-point specialist despite the futility from long range.
“We have some very confident three-point shooters," Guevara said. "Niki was 1-for-9, but she had some great open looks. The best hitter in baseball might strike out nine times, but he is going to hit that grand slam the next time. She’s got to shoot the ball and that’s her job. I’m not worried about it.”
Senior Jessica Green was the surprise three-point leader on the night by going 2-of-4, which matched a career high.
In the first half, the Chippewas struggled from inside the arc as they shot 34.3 percent from the field. This is uncharacteristic of the team that has shot 42 percent over the first 15 games of the season.
Though the Chippewas shooting attack didn’t work against NIU, Guevara issued a warning for Saturday’s game against Bowling Green.
“We have some very confident three-point shooters. Guess what? It didn’t go tonight, but it will go Saturday,” Guevara said.
The staple of the Chippewa offense may have not been working, but they found a way to pick up the points in the second half.
CMU started to drive to the basket to shoot high percentage shots. Their driving allowed the Chippewas to get to the free-throw line.
Sophmore Da’Jourie Turner lead the attack by shooting 4-of-5 for 8 points as the Chippewas second half shooting percentage rose to 44.8 percent.
“We are all penetrators and [missing threes] happens. We do have to live and die by the three ball, but we are more ... With our penetrating, I think we can go either or,” Junior Crystal Bradford said.
Rebounding also saved the Chippewas in the second half. Jas’Mine Bracey struggled in the first half only getting two rebounds.
She responded with 12 in the second half.
“She came in a hit some big free throws down the stretch. She finishes with a double-double. I debated if I was even going to start her in the second half, but she’s a junior and you stay with her. She made a big, fat difference for us down the stretch,” Guevara said.