CMU women's basketball continues losing streak against Ball State


Graduate student forward Nadége Jean seeks to keep the ball away from her opponents during the women's basketball game against Ball State Wednesday, Jan. 17 in McGuirk Arena. Jean scored eight points and had four rebounds during the game. (Ella Miller | CM Life)

After going into the fourth quarter with a 31-point deficit against Ball State, the Central Michigan women's basketball team exploded in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Cardinals, 21-14. 

Unfortunately, the comeback wasn't enough to walk away with the win as CMU fell 78-54 on Wednesday.

"(I) was proud we kept fighting," head coach Kristin Haynie said. "Ball State is tied for first for a reason. They're an all-around great team that plays both sides of the ball, so I give them credit. But I'm proud of our fight and effort to finish the game."

Leading in points was senior center Rochelle Norris with 12 along with five rebounds from in the paint. Following Norris was freshman guard Tamara Ortiz who ended the game with eight points in only her second game back from a knee injury. 

Throughout the game, Ball State's defense continued to press CMU at full court, causing 15 turnovers. The Chippewas caught on to the full-court pressure in the second half, containing their turnovers to five. 

"We have to do a better job of getting open and then keeping our poise with their pressure in the full court," Haynie said. "Their full-court pressure got to us at the beginning of the game which put us in the hole early. We ended up having only five turnovers in the second half which is one of our best."

As the final quarters played out, CMU knocked down nine points from beyond the arc. Junior guard Tiana Timpe and Ortiz both led in three-point shots with each going 2-5. Overall, the team shot 31% beyond the arc and 39.6% in field goals. 

With the Chippewas remaining on a losing streak of four, they remain in 11th place in the Mid-American Conference standings with five games left. They are 5-18 overall and now 3-10 in conference play. 

CMU will remain on the road for a rematch against rivals Western Michigan on Saturday at noon, who they previously beat 53-45 at home.  

"We're going to take a look at our Western game again when we played them at home and look at what we did well and what we didn't, so we can make adjustments," Haynie said. "We're taking it one game at a time and one possession at a time to continue to get better."