Women's basketball seeks revenge for 2017 loss to Quinnipiac

Freshman guard Maddy Watters drives into the paint against Quinnipiac on Dec. 21 at McGuirk Arena.

Quinnipiac handed the Central Michigan women's basketball team one of its five losses just a season ago.

This time, the two schools square off at 2 p.m. on Dec. 2 at the People's United Center in Hamden, Connecticut. For head coach Sue Guevara and the Chippewas, it's an opportunity at revenge. 

"Quinnipiac has scorers, they are physical and will bump you all over the place," Guevara said. "Our kids remember we lost against them at home last year. Now, we have a chance to go to their place and let them know it feels."

In the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25, CMU is ranked No. 5. Quinnipiac, following a 72-67 double-overtime win against Harvard, sits at No. 10.

In CMU's most recent game, an 82-39 thumping of Iona on Nov. 30, Guevara was able to rest her starters for a majority of the second half. Off the bench, she got 21 minutes from Kyra Bussell, 14 from Jaeda Robinson, 13 from Anika Weeks, 12 from Gabrielle Bird, 11 from Samantha Robinson and eight from Kalle Martinez.

Ten players earned more than 11 minutes of game time. All of them found the bottom of the net for points.

"I was able to rest our starters, and that's really good because we are going to need fresh legs against Quinnipiac," Guevara said.

"That's going to be a totally different game."

Despite giving the starting lineup a rest, Reyna Frost still managed to register her fifth double-double of the season with 15 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Jahari Smith tossed in 15 points, four rebounds and three assists.

"For Jahari, the more we can play her in tough games, the more experienced she's going to be," Guevara said. "Hopefully, she will be like a sophomore when March comes."

Scouting Quinnipiac

In the nonconference finale a season ago, on Dec. 21, 2017, the Chippewas faltered 84-70 at McGuirk Arena to the Bobcats. CMU shot just 31 percent from 3-point range and only made 53.8 percent of attempts from the free throw line.

Presley Hudson, a junior at the time, had just nine points. The only true form of offense came from post players Tinara Moore and Reyna Frost. Moore has since graduated and is no longer on the team.

"I think when Tinara Moore and Reyna Frost become our best 3-point shooters, we're in a bit of trouble," Guevara said.

"We didn't have great guard play, which is one of our strengths. We were going to the well as much as we could with Tinara and she was able to score for us inside. We just couldn't get ourselves out of it. We had some people trying to shoot themselves out of it, but unfortunately they weren't going."

Carly Fabbri led Quinnipiac with 20 points, but she graduated following the most recent season. However, the Bobcats do return Aryn McClure as a senior this time around. She snagged a team-high nine rebounds in the 2017 win against the Chippewas.

Without Fabric on the roster, head coach Tricia Fabbri's group is paced by redshirt senior forward Jen Fay. She averages 14.7 points and 6.4 rebounds but has only managed to connect on 24.3 percent of her 3-point opportunities.

Fay is the only member of Quinnipiac's roster who averages double-figures in scoring, but McClure, junior guard Taylor Herd, senior forward Paula Strautmane and senior guard Brittany Martin all score over five points per contest.

Boasting a 4-3 record, the Bobcats have fallen to Bucknell, No. 10 Texas and No. 21 Missouri this season. CMU's only loss came at the hands of South Dakota State on Nov. 12.