Women's hoops claims first win of the season, knocks off Valparaiso


Midland sophomore guard Molly Davis dribbles the ball against Northern Illinois on March 10 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Suddendorf)

With 47 seconds to go in the third quarter, Molly Davis pulls up for a jumper and became the 32nd person in Central Michigan women’s basketball history to hit 1,000 career points.

CMU (1-1) was able to handle Valparaiso (0-2) in a 65-61 win on Sunday.

“She’s unbelievable, she’s definitely my other coach on the floor,” said head coach Heather Oesterle about Davis. “We need her and for her to get her 1,000th point everyone was cheering for her and she’s a great player.”

How It Happened

The first quarter saw a Chippewas lead in a low-scoring opening 10 minutes. CMU’s defense was stout, but their offense couldn't keep par, committing six turnovers while shooting 29 percent from the field. Rebounding was a point of emphasis CMU out-rebounded the beacons 13-7.

On a late CMU turnover, Valparaiso was able to get a two-point lead going into halftime. Turnovers plagued CMU in the first half, coughing up the rock nine times for 10 Beacons points. The Chippewas defense held its own on the perimeter, holding the Beacons to finish 1-of-6 first half attempts from beyond the arc.

The Beacons came out firing out of halftime and the struggles for CMU continued. The Chippewas continued to be the main cause of their problems with four third-quarter turnovers. CMU continued to dominate the offensive glass but were unable to make it a game-changing factor. The Chippewas began to chip away at Valparaiso's lead near the end of the third bringing it to a five-point game. 

The Chippewas momentum from the third quarter carried over into the fourth. 

CMU freshman Hanna Knoll proved to be a scoring spark off the bench making three key buckets to bring her team back. The Chippewas went on an 11-0 scoring run for nearly five minutes in the last quarter. 

With less than a minute to go, CMU gave up the ball and let the Beacons score bringing it to a two-point game. But Davis kept her composure at the free-throw line for the Chippewas first win of the season.

Key Performers 

CMU redshirt junior Anika Weekes scored a team-high 15 points and 13 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. She finished 5-of-6 from the field and 5-of-7 on free throws.

“Anika sparked us in that third quarter, when we made that run, she’s giving us heart and hustle,” Oesterle said. “She’s playing well right now, with a ton of confidence, but we have to work on the fouls.”

CMU senior Jahari Smith was dominate on the offensive glass grabbing five offensive rebounds and 12 total to go along with eight points and three assists.

Valparaiso sophomore Leah Earnest had the game-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field with six rebounds.

Key Stats

CMU shot 36 percent from the field, 29 percent from three and 83 percent from the free throw line. Valparaiso shot 39 percent from the field, only 17 percent from three and 53 percent from the line.

CMU committed 19 turnovers compared to Valparaiso's seven.

CMU grabbed 48 boards, 18 being offensive compared to Valparaiso’s 29 rebounds and nine offensive rebounds.

Up Next

The Chippewas come back home to face the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines at noon Saturday at McGuirk Arena. Since their first meeting in 1972, CMU has won 11 out of 27 games against the Wolverines.