Foul trouble leads to CMU women's basketball loss against Miami (Ohio)

Graduate student guard Anika Weekes passes the ball up the court to freshman guard/forward Sydney Harris during the game against Ohio on Wednesday, Jan. 15 in McGuirk Arena.

After sending Miami (Ohio) to the free-throw line 32 times, Central Michigan women's basketballs foul trouble cost them a 77-68 loss on Saturday.  

The Chippewas now have an overall 4-15 record and are 2-6 in the Mid-American Conference. Miami (Ohio) is 8-13 overall and 3-5 in the MAC. 

"I thought defensively we have to do a much better job," said head coach Heather Oesterle. "We kind of switched up our game plan in the second half. We got some stops, but we didn't get the stops we needed, and we have got to be able to defend without fouling."

In the first quarter, it was all freshman guard Sydney Harris as she scored 11 of the 17 Chippewa points. Harris went 3-for-4 from the three-point line. The Chippewas shot 50% from both the field and the three-point line. Despite getting outrebounded and committing seven turnovers, the Chippewas had a 17-14 lead going into the second quarter.

The RedHawks answered right back in the second quarter going on an 8-2 run. After that, it was a back-and-forth offensive battle as both teams failed to make any stops. The Chippewas had a 35-34 lead with less than a minute left in the quarter until the RedHawks went on a 5-1 run to take a 39-36 lead into the half.

CMU scored 22 of their 36 points from inside the paint in the first half. The Chippewas shot 3-for-7 from the free throw and the RedHawks took advantage of CMU's turnovers scoring 10 points off of turnovers. 

"A couple of the turnovers we tried to pass it into the post and we got to be able to catch it in the post," Oesterle said. "There was one on an out-of-bounds play ... it was a variety of things ... it was 39-36 and a half and we gotta be able to stop people."

CMU freshman guard Bridget Utberg and Harris combined for 10 points in the third quarter. The Chippewas could not stop the RedHawks senior guard Peyton Scott who scored five-straight points to take a 44-39 lead. 

With three minutes left in the third quarter, freshman guard Taylor Anderson made a layup to cut the deficit down to two points. Miami (Ohio) sophomore guard Ivy Wolf answered right back scoring five points in the last three minutes of the game, including a big-time three to bring their lead back up to five points going into the fourth quarter. 

"Taylor has been giving us good minutes ... she rebounds, she defends ... she gets steals," Oesterle said. "So, she had a really good all-around game. Sydney same thing I mean, she can score we just got to get production when some of our starters aren't producing."

In the fourth quarter, the Chippewas could not overcome the six-point deficit and lost 77-68. CMU sent the RedHawks to the free-throw line as they committed nine personal fouls in the quarter. With under two minutes left in the game, Anderson scored a layup to bring the Chippewa's deficit down to five points. Miami (Ohio) answered right back ending the game on a 6-2 run picking up the win.

"You know, to score 68 points, the goal was to score 70 plus," Oesterle said. "But giving them 32 free-throw attempts, we're not a physical team enough to send another team to the line 32 times."

The Chippewas will be back in action Wednesday night when they travel back home to McGuirk as they take on Toldeo at 7 p.m.