CMU women’s basketball loses MAC opener in last second thriller

Central Michigan's women's basketball team watches from the bench during a game against Concordia-Ann Arbor, Tuesday, Nov. 14 in McGuirk Arena. CMU is coached by head coach Kristin Haynie. (Marie Underwood | CM-Life)

With less than a second left in the game and Bowling Green State University up by one, Central Michigan women’s basketball had one more opportunity at the basket to win the game.

However, after the ball was inbounded, CMU couldn’t get a shot off in time, leading to a loss in its Mid-American Conference opener on Wednesday, 65-64.

The loss extends the losing streak to seven as the Chippewas fall to 1-9 overall and 0-1 in MAC play. 

“It’s disappointing because our players have practiced hard,” head coach Kristin Haynie said. “They’ve been doing a really good job, and I would just wish we could get that win for them because they deserve it.” 

The Chippewas went into the final quarter with a nine-point lead, however the Falcons crawled their way back in the fourth to seal the conference win. 

“We have to finish games,” Haynie said. “But that’s been the story, we haven’t put together 40 minutes.”

One bright spot for CMU in the loss was sophomore guard Taylor Anderson who ended the night with a career-high 16 points, going 5-for-10 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. 

“Taylor guards the best player every night, but we told her we need her more on offense too,” Haynie said. “She’s a talent… It was a great job for her… Now, she needs to stay consistent and keep going, having that offensive mindset.” 

Graduate forward Nadége Jean continued her success in the paint, securing her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds. 

An area the Chippewas have struggled with throughout the season is offensive production. 

However, that wasn’t the case to open the game as they shot 58.3 percent from the field while hitting two three-pointers. The offensive production led to CMU taking the slim 18-16 lead to end the first quarter. 

With the Falcons holding a two-point lead with under four minutes to go before half, the Chippewas started to find their stride, going on a 6-0 run that gave them the 31-27 lead late in the second quarter. CMU had the slight edge going into halftime, 34-32. 

Coming out of the half, the Chippewas came out of the gate firing with a 13-6 run that gave them the largest lead of the game, 47-38. 

Bowling Green responded with five-straight unanswered points and seemed to shift the momentum. That was until junior guard Tiana Timpe hit a fastbreak shot beyond the ark that got McGuirk loud and extended the lead back to nine with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. 

CMU continued the shooting performance from the first half into the third as it shot 60 percent from the field in the quarter and outscored the Falcons 22-15. 

However, BGSU wasn’t done yet as it outscored CMU 13-4 to open the fourth quarter to tie the game at 60 with four minutes to play in the game. 

After shooting a high percentage in the first three quarters, it was a different story in the fourth as the Chippewas went 1-of-19 from the floor and were outscored by Bowling Green 18-8. 

“We got to score the ball better,” Haynie said. “We got to be in the gym more, getting shots up because our field goal percentage is 38% overall and that’s not going to win games.” 

With BGSU up one point with 36 seconds remaining, Jean went to the free throw line after a shooting foul. After missing the first, Jean nailed the second to tie the game at 64. 

However, a costly turnover on CMU’s next possession led to a foul where Falcons guard Amy Velasco hit one of two to give Bowling Green the one-point advantage, 65-64. The Chippewas failed to convert on the last second shot, giving them the loss to open conference play. 

CMU returns to McGuirk Arena on Saturday to continue MAC play as they face off against Buffalo on Saturday at 1 p.m. 

“We have to have short term memory and forget about this game and stay hungry and… stay motivated, so we’re ready to go on the weekend at home in front of our crowd,” Haynie said.