Women's hoops stung by No. 17 Georgia Tech in season opener


Montreal freshman guard Lisa Tesson passes the ball to a teammate on Thursday, Nov. 4 at McGuirk Arena.

In the first regular season game with fans in McGuirk Arena in over a year, Central Michigan women’s basketball opened the 2021-22 season with a 74-40 loss to No. 17 Georgia Tech on Tuesday.

The loss is CMU’s third-straight season-opening defeat and second-straight season-opener against a ranked team.

“We have to stay positive because we are a work in progress. It’s not going to happen overnight,” said head coach Heather Oesterle. “We have to continue to get people minutes and experience in games. 

“This is a marathon season, not a sprint. It’s our first game of the season. (We can) only go up from here.”

How it Happened

The Yellow Jackets came out firing in the first half, scoring 11 of the game's first 13 points. With CMU forward Jahari Smith forced to the bench after an early foul, Georgia Tech continued to sting CMU down low, scoring 14 of its 19 first-quarter points in the paint. 

After trailing 19-6 after the first quarter, CMU slowly began to find its footing. The Chippewas used three-pointers from two-thirds of their Canadian trio in junior Anika Weekes and freshman Lisa Tesson to trail 34-18 at the half. 

Smith kickstarted the second half with back-to-back and-1 baskets for a 6-0 run of her own to pull CMU within 10 points. The Yellow Jackets responded with a 14-0 run which forced two timeouts from Oesterle and gave the visitors a 48-24 lead. Georgia Tech would outscore CMU 25-10 in the third stanza with Smith scoring eight. 

Key Performers

Smith finished with a team-best 14 points and five rebounds. Yellow Jackets forward Digna Straumane earned a game-high 19 points off the bench. 

Key Stats

The Chippewas were outscored 22-4 in the paint in the first half and 44-10 for the game. CMU also committed 10 of its 15 turnovers in the first half.

CMU finished 12-of-47 from the floor and 4-of-20 from beyond the arc. 

What’s next

The Chippewas hit the road to face Valparaiso at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14.