MAC releases women's basketball conference schedule


CMU’s women’s basketball team huddles around coach Heather Oesterle during the MAC Tournament Championship game against Bowling Green on March 13 in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (photo by Ben Suddendorf)

The road to another Mid-American Conference title has been set for Central Michigan women's basketball. 

In the first year of the conference consolidating into one division for men's and women's basketball, the Chippewa women finished second in the conference in 2020-21. CMU finished the regular season with a 13-6 mark in conference play, finishing behind Bowling Green for the regular season title. 

It didn't damper the spirits of the program, however, as the Chippewas rolled to the conference tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. 

The quest to another regular season title will come through a rigorous 20-game conference slate, featuring 10 games apiece at home and on the road. The MAC announced the conference schedule Friday, which will begin on Dec. 29. 

The Chippewas unveiled their non-conference schedule, featuring home tilts with two 2021 NCAA Sweet Sixteen teams, earlier in August. 

CMU begins its conference schedule with a trip to Buffalo, who boasts dynamite returning guard Dyashia Fair. The Chippewas' conference home opener will be on Jan. 1, 2022 against Northern Illinois. 

The Chippewas stay at home for their next game, a Jan. 5 matchup with rival Western Michigan before traveling to Eastern Michigan Jan. 8 and Toledo Jan. 12. Coach Heather Oesterle and company return home Jan. 15 for a showdown with Ohio before heading back on the road for a MAC tournament championship rematch with Bowling Green on Jan. 19. 

CMU then travels to Ball State Jan. 22 before squaring off at McGuirk Arena with Miami (Ohio) (Jan. 26) and Akron (Jan. 29). The Chippewas travel to Kent State (Feb. 2) before getting a rematch with Buffalo at home (Feb. 5). Oesterle and her team will get another look at Kent State just a week after the first matchup, as the Golden Flashes come to Mount Pleasant on Feb. 9. 

The Chippewas head to Oxford to take on Miami (Ohio) once again on Feb. 12, then to Akron for its second meeting with the Zips (Feb. 16). CMU will then return home for a two-game homestead against former MAC West foes Eastern Michigan (Feb. 19) and Toledo (Feb. 23). 

CMU's final three games of the conference season consist of a trip to Kalamazoo to face WMU (Feb. 26), the home finale against Ball State (March 2) and a trip to NIU (March 5). 

Here is the full 2021-22 schedule for CMU women's basketball:
Nov. 9: Vs. Georgia Tech
Nov. 14: @ Valparaiso
Nov. 20: Vs. Michigan
Nov. 26: @ Northeastern
Nov. 28: @ Marist
Dec. 1: @ Cincinnati
Dec. 7: Vs. Oakland
Dec. 11: Vs. Loyola Chicago
Dec. 20: @ Green Bay
Dec. 29: @ Buffalo
Jan. 1: Vs. Northern Illinois
Jan. 5: Vs. Western Michigan
Jan. 8: @ Eastern Michigan
Jan. 12: @ Toledo
Jan. 15: Vs. Ohio
Jan. 19: @ Bowling Green
Jan. 22: @ Ball State
Jan. 26: Vs. Miami (Ohio)
Jan. 29: Vs. Akron
Feb. 2: @ Kent State
Feb. 5: Vs. Buffalo
Feb. 9: Vs. Kent State
Feb. 12: @ Miami (Ohio)
Feb. 16: @ Akron
Feb. 19: Vs. Eastern MIchigan
Feb. 23: Vs. Toledo
Feb. 26: @ Western Michigan
March 2: Vs. Ball State
March 5: @ Northern Illinois