Women's basketball season ended by IUPUI in first round of NIT Tournament
The season ended for the Mid-American Conference West Division Champion CMU women's basketball team Thursday at McGuirk Arena.
The Chippewas (22-11, 14-4 MAC) lost to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (21-10, 11-5 Summit League) 63-55 in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament.
"It's tough to win a game when you can't score," said Head Coach Sue Guevara. "We couldn't put the ball in the hole. When you don't score, you have to defend. We had a couple breakdowns and it's a very disappointing loss."
Guevara said she felt more disappointed after Thursday's loss than after the buzz-beater loss to Buffalo in the MAC Tournament Championship game.
No players were made available to the media after the game.
The IUPUI bench outscored CMU's bench 41-5, including 24 points from Akilah Sims in 21 minutes. Freshman forward Reyna Frost led the Chippewas with a double-double — 12 points and 11 rebounds.
CMU led 12-9 at the end of the first quarter, but started the second quarter shooting 3-for-11, including 1-for-10 from the 3-point line. IUPUI outscored the Chippewas 21-11 taking a seven-point advantage into the break.
CMU ended the half shooting 30 percent from the field.
The Chippewas struggled offensively in the second half, falling into a 12 point deficit at the 2:19 mark in the third. IUPUI outscored CMU's bench 14-0 in the third quarter and had zero turnovers compared to CMU's six in the quarter.
During the game, Guevara told her team to post up sophomore forward Tinara Moore, because the Jaguars were defending CMU's 3-point game.
"They were clogging up (the middle) because we couldn't score from outside," Guevara said. "We wanted to get the ball inside to Tinara (Moore) and Reyna (Frost), but we could not score from the perimeter and I think frustration set it."
Guevara said she thought her team had poor shot selection, taking quick shots instead of penetrating and getting to the free-throw line. She called her team's offensive play "impatient."
Late 3-pointers from Breen and Hudson weren't enough to mount the comeback.
With a minute remaining, Guevara was asking her assistant coaches, "who can we foul?" to extend the game.
After an intentional foul by junior forward Jewel Cotton with 36 seconds remaining and CMU down by seven points, 59-52, IUPUI's Danielle Lawrence missed two free throws. The rebound fell into the hands of Sims, deflating the team's chances at extending the season.
"They were at the free-throw line, it's a two-possession game and missed two free throws — which is perfect — but then they get the offensive rebound," Guevara said. "That's enough just take the dagger and hit you right in the heart. That's tough. We should have gotten the rebound and gone down and scored."
Sophomore forward Tinara Moore led CMU in scoring with 15 points and nine rebounds.
CMU finished the game shooting 31 percent from the field. IUPUI shot just 15.8 percent from 3-point range.
Hudson, the MAC Freshman of the Year, finished shooting 2-for-10 from 3-point range, recording 11 points.
"It's unfortunate this (loss) is kind of what you leave with; this is kind of what you remember — the last game instead of everything that led up to it," Guevara said. "We get 48 hours to get over this (loss). Then we'll get back at it."
Guevara said she wished the season ended differently than how it ended today.
CMU drops to 0-5 all time in postseason games (excluding the MAC Tournament).
Guevara said the team will take three weeks off to rest up and take care of things outside of basketball.
The game was postponed in between the first and second quarter after paramedics were called to aid of a courtside official who needed medical attention.
The delay lasted around 20 minutes. Both teams were allowed to warm up again before the start of the second quarter.