Women’s basketball faces two tough opponents, will honor Sue Guevara

Central Michigan freshman guard Molly Davis attempts a layup against Dayton on Nov. 21 at McGuirk Arena. (Photo: CMU Athletics)

Coming off its first win of the season, the Central Michigan women’s basketball team faces another tough week of nonconference opponents. 

The Chippewas (1-3) will welcome Northeastern to McGuirk Arena at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The Howlin’ Huskies are winless through five games. However, the team's record does not necessarily reflect its season to this point.

“Their record right now doesn’t reflect how they’ve played,” said coach Heather Oesterle. “They have a good combination of inside-out play and we have to be ready to win all the 50-50 points.”

Northeastern played a closely contested game against South Dakota, the team that currently sits atop the Mid-Major Top 25 rankings, losing 80-76. Following that game, the Howlin’ Huskies took on top-ranked Oregon, a squad that defeated Team USA in a preseason exhibition. 

Northeastern also was defeated by Dayton, 71-60, who the Chippewas beat in their last game on Nov. 21.

Sophomore forward Alexis Hill looks to lead the charge for Northeastern. Hill is averaging 14.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. 

For the Chippewas, guards Molly Davis and Micaela Kelly combined to score 50 points against Dayton, leading the team to the overtime win. Kelly scored the final 14 points for the Chippewas, including all 10 in overtime. 

Oesterle said CMU needs Davis and Kelly to take the lead again to find its way into the win column for the second time this season.

“After the first game we’ve seen more switching on-ball screens because people want to take away the 3-ball and they’ve stuck with (senior guard) Maddy (Watters) out on the wings,” Oesterle said. “It’s given (Kelly) and Molly opportunities to drive.”

Watters will likely continue to be a threat from the 3-point line against Northeastern. Should the opposition focus more on defending the paint, Watters could have a successful night shooting the ball from outside. 

Sophomore center Jahari Smith and junior forward Kyra Bussell will be a big part of the game plan, Oesterle added.

“Honestly we’re playing a team that’s a little smaller than us tomorrow,” Oesterle said. “I want to get that ball inside, I want to get it to Jahari and I want to get it to (Bussell).”

Following the game against Northeastern, the Chippewas will take on Marist at 1 p.m. Saturday.

It marks the third of four-straight games at McGuirk Arena for the Chippewas before playing the next six on the road. The Red Foxes are 5-0 and ranked No. 9 in the Mid-Major poll.

“We talked about the two teams this week are very, very good mid-major programs and we’re a really good mid-major program,” Oesterle said. “(Northeastern) and Marist are good resume builders come March.”

Former coach Sue Guevara will be honored Saturday for her achievements during her 12-year run with the Chippewas.

Guevara announced her retirement this summer. She paved the way for Oesterle to take over and continue to lead the program to the level of success fans have come to expect. 

“She’s meant a ton to me," Oesterle said. "I met her in middle school and she gave me the opportunity to play college basketball. The thing I have taken most from her is that now it's my turn to help get Courtney (Shelton) and help get (Murriel) Page ready to be head coaches.”