Turnovers prove costly as CMU women's basketball falls to WMU

CMU junior guard Karrington Gordon keeps the ball away from Ball State junior Nyla Hampton, Wednesday, Jan. 17 in McGuirk Arena. (CM-Life | Jo Kenoshmeg)

With just over two minutes remaining and the clock running down, Central Michigan women's basketball looked for an opportunity to boost its confidence against long-time rivals, Western Michigan on Saturday. 

With only one shot falling from beyond the arc for CMU, the Chippewas sent the ball to freshman guard Tamara Ortiz who nailed the three-pointer for their second of the night. Staying at only two three-pointers made, CMU fell 76-49 on the road to the Broncos. 

Throughout the season, turnovers have proven to be a bug for the Chippewas. The struggles continued as CMU ended the game with a total of 30 turnovers, while Western was able to put up 34 points off of the Chippewas' mistakes. 

Averaging 20 turnovers per game, first-year head coach Kristin Haynie emphasized eliminating opportunities for turnovers to arise.

"We have to do better," Haynie said. "There's no excuses for our unforced turnovers."

Another continued struggle for the Chippewas is the lack of three-point shots. In the last few games, CMU has struggled to find the net from beyond the arc. 

Against Western, the Chippewas only shot 10.5% compared to Western's 25% from three-point land. Absent from shots was junior guard Tiana Timpe, who had eight attempts, however none were successful. 

"We'll do more shooting in practice," Haynie said. "We're getting open looks and we have to knock those down."

Leading in points was graduate forward Nadège Jean with 11, shooting 50% overall. Following in points was junior guard Lisa Tesson with nine. Despite struggles, CMU had 30 points in the paint, mostly from its centers who continue to play a crucial role to this team.

"We missed the post a lot in the first half," Haynie said. "We were driving and attacking the basket, so it was good to see us do that more in the second half."

The Chippewas won the rebounding battle, securing 47 compared to Western's 37. Out of CMU's total rebounds, 15 were offensive and 32 were defensive.  

"I think Western got too many offensive rebounds," Haynie. "We should have out-rebounded them by more because we didn't do a good enough job boxing out."

After its fifth straight loss, CMU continues to hold the 11th spot in the Mid-American Conference standings. The team now stands at 5-19 overall and 3-11 in MAC play. 

As the season quickly comes to an end, only the top eight teams will advance to Cleveland, Ohio to play in the MAC tournament. 

As CMU continues throughout the remainder of the season, Haynie emphasized defending without fouling, to eliminate easy opportunities for shots. 

She further stressed the importance of taking care of the ball enough to hit the open shots that are presented. 

The Chippewas return home in hopes to snag a win against Miami (Ohio) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.