CMU women’s basketball drops game to Toledo

Junior center Rochelle Norris blocks a shot by Toledo during the game against Toledo on Wednesday, Feb. 1 in McGuirk Arena. Norris had 1 block and 12 rebounds in the game.

After a 6-2 run in the second quarter, Central Michigan women’s basketball got within three of Toledo with less than five minutes left in the half. However, the Rockets ended the first 20 minutes on an 11-2 run and continued their momentum throughout the second half to defeat CMU, 74-60 on Wednesday. 

The Chippewas move to 4-16 overall and 2-7 in Mid-American Conference play while Toledo improves to 16-4 overall and 7-2 in the MAC. 

CMU was without its second-leading scorer freshman guard Bridget Utberg who was out for undisclosed reasons. 

“We weren't able to do a lot of the sets that we normally do, because she (Utberg) wasn't in the game,” head coach Heather Oesterle said. “You take out a scoring threat. Lisa (Tesson) and Mikala (Hall) did a fairly nice job, it's just Bridget is a scoring point guard.” 

The Chippewas had trouble getting their outside shooting going without Utberg, going 0-for-8 beyond the three-point line in the first three quarters. 

“I think it's the fact we don't have a lot of scoring threats in there at times with Bridget out and Tiana not hitting (shots),” Oesterle said. “I mean we have to have more than just one … if we would have had our whole lineup and Tiana hitting threes, we can space the floor and that's the Central Michigan basketball inside-outside game. And right now, the people are just packing it in until we get Bridget back and Tiana starts to shoot three well.”  

Freshman guard Sydney Harris led in scoring for CMU with 19 points along with three rebounds. 

Coming off the bench, sophomore guard Karrington Gordon put up a career-high 16 points, going 6-for-10 from the field. 

Without Utberg in the lineup, Harris took control of the scoring load producing eight straight-points for the Chippewas. However, Toledo went 5-for-7 from the field to begin the first quarter to take a 13-8 lead. Only scoring two points in the final six minutes, CMU found itself down 15-10 heading into the second quarter. 

Following a slow start to begin the second quarter, the Chippewas went on a 6-2 run to cut the Rocket lead to 23-20 with 4:43 left in the half. However, Toledo shot right back with nine-straight points to take the double-digit 36-24 lead into halftime.

The Rockets continued to extend their lead to begin the second half going on a 12-0 run to take a 57-31 lead with four minutes to play in the third quarter. The Chippewas went on a 6-2 run aided by Gordon to chip away at the Rockets 59-37 lead. However, Toledo went into the fourth quarter with the 63-39 lead. 

CMU gained some momentum to begin the fourth quarter, going on a 10-1 run to put it within 15 of the Rockets. The deep ball finally started to fall for the Chippewas in the final quarter as they went 5-for-5 from the three-point line. CMU outscored the Rockets 21-11 in the fourth, but Toledo was able to hold on to its lead to defeat the Chippewas. 

CMU looks to bounce back when it returns to McGuirk Arena on Saturday to face off against Eastern Michigan at 1 p.m.