CMU women's basketball falls to EMU for third conference loss
Poor shooting and poor ball security are difficult tasks to overcome, and Central Michiganfelt the effect in its loss to an in-state competitor.
The Chippewas issues began with a slow start in an 80-60 loss to Eastern Michigan Saturday at the George Gervin GameAbove Center.
The Chippewas (3-10, 1-3 Mid-American Conference) continued their shooting struggles that have plagued their offense throughout the season. CMU went 21-56 from the floor and 6-18 from beyond the arc. EMU shot 45.2 percent from the floor and 35 percent from three on seven makes.
After a 26-day hiatus because of Covid-19 protocols the Eagles came into this game on firing on all cylinders. Their looks however wouldn’t be described as “tough shots.” The Chippewas defense was ineffective when stopping fast-break opportunities and was a step slow in the half court. While this Chippewa team doesn’t rely heavily on their defense, it becomes a problem when shots aren’t falling at a competitive clip.
CMU junior Molly Davis started the game with only a handful of shots attempts and six points through 28 minutes. With two minutes left in the third Davis nailed four shots for 11 points and brought the Chippewas back into the game. Fouls caught up with Davis as she had to sit for the rest of the game with eight minutes remaining in the fourth. This marked the third time this season Davis has fouled out as she finished with 20 points on 46 percent shooting and 4-9 from the three.
When the leading scorer fouls out of the game, it’s difficult for a team to rally together and make up for Davis' absence. CMU senior Jahari Smith and freshman Lisa Tesson combined for 28 points, but it still was not enough. One of the most glaring areas the Chippewas lacked was in bench scoring. All five players that came off the bench were unable to contribute any points, whereas EMU had 16 bench points and five players in double figure scoring.
EMU started the game on an immediate full-court press and set the tone for their defense for the rest of the game. The Chippewas ended the first quarter with a 12-point deficit and were unable to get any closer to compete for a lead change.
A strong-suit this team has displayed is rebounding and it was evident yet gain. Coming off a 23-rebound performance in their loss to Western, Smith was able to corral nine rebounds to go along with her 15 points. Help came in the form of CMU redshirt junior Anika Weekes as she grabbed 10 boards to go along with six points.
The plague that’s affected all of Central Michigan University basketball this season has continued to rampage as turnover numbers continue to climb. The Chippewas gave up the rock 20 times in the match. A team with a young core like this Chippewas team is expected to have these kinds of issues. But nearly halfway through the season and four games into conference play the room for these mistakes becomes slimmer and slimmer as each game passes.