Women’s basketball drops third straight, falls to Loyola-Chicago

Freshman guard Tiana Timpe takes a shot Dec. 11 in McGuirk Arena.

Loyola-Chicago’s size frustrated Central Michigan women’s basketball team early.

Despite off games from juniors Molly Davis and Anika Weekes, the Chippewas’ bench stepped up to make things interesting on Saturday.

Freshman Tiana Timpe provided a much-needed spark off the bench with 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from deep, but it wasn’t enough to change the course of the game, as Loyola-Chicago locked up a 69-48 win in McGuirk Arena.

“I was encouraged after this game, frustrated but encouraged,” said head coach Heather Oesterle. “I’ve been harping on them about being more urgent and being more competitive because I thought coming out of that Oakland game. I thought Oakland bullied us a little bit, and I thought they responded well.”

The loss drops the Chippewas to 2-6, despite its best 3-point shooting performance of the season. CMU finished 7-of-22 from deep for a 31.8 shooting percentage.

Although the final result wasn’t what the home fans were expecting, Davis moved into a three-way tie with Taylor Johnson and Crystal Bradford for ninth on the all-time three-pointers made list, with 148. 

The Ramblers looked to assert their will early in the contest. Oesterle responded, dialing up a half-court trap to shrink the CMU deficit to four points before halftime. 

“I think we could be really good once we get it all clicking, but right now it’s like somebody here, somebody there, we just haven’t put it all together yet,” Oesterle said. 

Although the defensive changes slowed Loyola, guard Bre Hampton-Bey continued to find the basket and pushed the lead out of reach again. Down 11, the Chippewas immediately turned to Timpe. She didn’t disappoint, cutting the lead to seven off back-to-back threes. 

“My confidence was down, but my coaches gave me the confidence to shoot the ball,” Timpe said. “All of a sudden it just clicked today.”

Ultimately, that was as close as things would get the rest of the way as the Ramblers kept their foot on the gas, shooting 5-of-7 from deep throughout the second half to outscore CMU 38-28 during the final 20 minutes. For the Chippewas, this is their third-straight loss.

Loyola’s Sam Galanopoulos finished with a game-high 17-points, in addition to four rebounds and three assists. CMU center Jahari Smith recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Davis added 10 points 4-of-14 shooting from the floor.

The Chippewas look to snap their three-game losing streak on Monday, Dec. 20, when they head to Green Bay, Wisconsin to face the Phoenix of Green Bay.