Shooting woes return as women’s basketball falls to 1-4 in MAC

The Chippewa women's basketball team takes a 74-68 win against Northern Illinois University to close out their regular season on senior day Mar. 6 in McGuirk Arena.

Facing the top defense in the Mid-American Conference, Central Michigan women’s basketball needed a fast start to keep pace. 

However, shooting 0-for-12 from deep in the first half hindered the Chippewas' plans, as Toledo remains undefeated in the MAC with a 74-49 win on Wednesday in Savage Arena. 

CMU falls to 3-11 overall and a 1-4 record in conference play. The Rockets improve to 5-0 in the MAC and 11-3 overall. 

Heading into the contest, Toledo led the MAC in defense, allowing 58.4 points per game. 

Having a stout defense of their own, head coach Heather Oesterle and the Chippewas rolled out a familiar four-guard lineup, as senior Kalle Martinez got the nod. Early on, the switch worked as the Rockets struggled to find a flow offensively. 

After battling through the beginning minutes of the game, CMU remained in lock-step with Toledo as Molly Davis’ shot continued to rattle out. Then with four minutes left in the first, the rest of the offense stalled out. 

The scoreless streak continued into the second quarter and the Rockets took control, stretching their lead to 15-points. Looking for a spark, CMU turned to Davis, who didn’t disappoint. 

Although the three wasn’t falling for Davis, she didn’t let that phase her and began attacking the rim. The Rockets defenders couldn’t keep up with her first step, and she used it to compile 10 points in the second quarter. 

When the buzzer sounded signifying halftime, the Chippewas’ 8-for-10 performance from the free-throw line as they dropped Toledo’s lead down to seven. 

After shooting 3-for-15 from behind the arc, the Rockets opened the third and increased their advantage by firing from range. The change in strategy pushed Toledo’s advantage back to double-digits. 

Looking to make a comeback, CMU ratcheted up the intensity on defense. However, with Smith grabbing her third personal foul less than two minutes into the second half, the Chippewas struggled to slow down the Rockets. 

Five minutes into the third, CMU’s first three-point shot fell. Davis continued attacking the lane and made an impact, but defensively the Chippewas didn’t have an answer for Toledo, who remained hot from deep. 

CMU attempted to climb back in the fourth, but the Rockets kept their foot on the gas en route to a 35-point victory. 

Davis led all scorers in the contest with 26 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists. Freshman guard Lisa Tesson added nine points, in addition to snagging a career-high six rebounds. 

After reaching the career 1,000 point mark in the fourth, Toledo junior guard Quinesha Lockett recorded a double-double for the Rockets with 24 points while grabbing 12 rebounds. 

Although they have improved recently, poor shooting has hurt the Chippewas throughout the season. Wednesday was no different as CMU finished 17-for-58 from the field and 3-for-21 from three-point land. 

The Chippewas return to McGuirk Arena on Saturday, when they face the Ohio Bobcats at 1 p.m.