Poor shooting plagues women's hoops in 79-58 loss to Oakland


The only thing colder than the air outside of McGuirk Arena was Central Michigan women's basketball shooting from behind the 3-point line. 

The Chippewas missed all 13 chances from beyond the arc in the first half and made only made three of their 25 long-range shots to pair with a 22-of-69 performance from the floor. 

The off day put CMU (2-5) behind the 8 ball for too long in a 79-58  loss to Oakland (4-5) in a Tuesday morning showdown.

“We’re still learning our roles and what everyone needs to do, where we need people and learning plays,” said CMU junior guard Anika Weekes. “Come (Mid-American Conference) time we’re going to be prepared.”

Grizzlies guard Kahkaija Dean gave the Chippewas more than they can handle. OU's leading scorer single-handedly defeated CMU in the first half. The Chippewas were outscored by Dean 13-10 in the first quarter and 12-10 in the second as the Grizzlies junior finished the first half with 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting and draining four of her five 3-point attempts. 

“When a kid is that quick and can shoot the three ball like she shoots it, she’s a tough guard,” said head coach Heather Oesterle. “That was a really huge learning experience for us.”

Dean lead all players with a season-best 34 points, shooting 11-16 from the field, 4-7 beyond the arc and hit all eight of her free-throw attempts.

Oakland jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first four minutes. The Chippewas fired at will to narrow the deficit, but found themselves down 18-10 after the opening 10 minutes after shooting 20 percent from the floor. 

CMU outscored OU 38-37 in the second half behind 3-of-12 shooting from long range. The 42-20 deficit proved to be too much as CMU dropped its third-straight home game. 

CMU shot 32 percent from the field and 12 percent beyond the arc. OU shot 46 percent from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc.

CMU was out-rebounded by Oakland 42-44, but held an offensive rebound advantage 18-12. CMU and Oakland tied for turnovers with 15 each.

Weekes earned her second double-double of the season with a team-best 20 points and 10 boards. Senior center Jahari Smith added 16 points and six rebounds. Freshman Rebekah Gordon contributed a pair of 3-pointers off the bench.

“I love how hard that kid (Gordon) works,” Oesterle said. “She gets all the scrappy, loose ball points, and then she hit a couple of big threes for us.

"She earned more playing time today.”

OU now leads the all-time series 13-11. The Chippewas are now 0-4 in weekday games and 0-3 when losing the battle of the boards. 

Tuesday's game was also the 10th annual Hoops for Hunger game. This allows students from nearby elementary and middle school students to attend a CMU basketball game. 

The Chippewas stay home to play Loyola-Chicago at 1 p.m. Saturday in McGuirk Arena.