Women's basketball releases non-conference schedule, face three NCAA Tournament teams


The women's basketball team struggles through a 72-67 loss against Toledo Feb. 24 in McGuirk Arena.

Heather Oesterle has annually scheduled some of the best non-conference showdowns, viewing the early portion of the schedule as an opportunity for her team to face some of the nation's best to prepare for the grind of the Mid-American Conference. 

Entering her third season as Central Michigan women's basketball head coach, the 2021-22 season will be no different. The Chippewas non-conference slate includes three 2021 NCAA Tournament qualifiers. 

"We are going to get a chance early to see what we are made of," Oesterle said in a press release. "The players we recruit want to play this type of schedule and we will need our young ones ready to contribute right away." 

The Chippewas begin the season on Nov. 9 at home with a showdown against Georgia Tech. Last season, the Yellow Jackets finished 17-9 and lost in the Sweet 16 to eventual Final Four team South Carolina. Former CMU assistant coach Murriel Page is currently an assistant with the Yellow Jackets.

CMU will also host Michigan, another Sweet 16 team, on Nov. 20. Another familiar face will come to town in Wolverine graduate assistant Reyna Frost, who is the Chippewas' all-time leading rebounder and served as the director of player development last season. 

The Chippewas will also host Oakland on Dec. 7 and Loyola Chicago Dec. 11. CMU beat the Ramblers on the road last season, 73-64. 

"We have some very good teams coming into McGuirk Arena; I'd like to see if we can sell more season tickets then we've ever sold before," Oesterle said. "This team is going to be special." 

Oesterle and company will travel to take on Marist, the third and final NCAA Tournament qualifier. The Red Foxes are the defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season and tournament champions. The two teams are scheduled to square off Nov. 28. 

Other road games for the Chippewas include Valparaiso on Nov.14, Northeastern Nov. 26, Cincinnati Dec. 1 and Green Bay Dec. 20. 

The conference portion of the schedule will be released in September. 

Here is CMU's non-conference schedule:
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