MOUNT PLEASANT, me. – No looking back, for better or for worse.
Pushed into a corner, the Central Michigan women’s basketball team responded. Now is the time to keep things going as the Chippewas hit the midpoint of the Mid-American Conference schedule on Wednesday (5:30 p.m.) when they head to Toledo.
CMU is 8-5, 6-3 and took a dominant 92-69 win at Akron on Saturday. That win sparked a three-game loss as the four-time defending MAC Champions shook off what bothered them most during the skid: slow starts.
The Chippewas scored 32 points against Akron in the first quarter and were 20 points ahead. The 32 points were their season high for a single quarter that season and the 92 points were also a season high.
The elixir? A change in the training plan, coach Heather Oesterle said. Oesterle shortened the workout to 60 minutes, but increased the temperature in the gym.
“It’s very, very efficient, and very high-energy,” she said, adding that going back to profitability means going back to what the Chippewas always did to be successful: sharing the burden.
What “hurt us in those three lost games is that we didn’t play as a team,” she said. “We have the most selfless team and we weren’t selfish, but we tried to do everything ourselves.
“We had to go back to our way of playing basketball, with balance, where we don’t rely on two people to get a goal.”
“I was really proud of our players because even when we lost there was never any negativity. It was always like, ‘We have this; we just have to find out.’ And I think a lot of that has to do with being a veteran team and our leaders.
“I was really proud of the way we dealt with the adversity, and I also think it brought us closer together. They either fall apart or you come together and I think we really did come together.”
With 6: 3 the Chippewas are in fourth place in the MAC and are within striking distance of the top spot in the league, and there is still much season left. They are expected to host Buffalo on Saturday, January 30th (1pm) at the McGuirk Arena. Then the next three games of Chippewas are against teams that sit behind CMU in the league placement. Buffalo is half a game ahead of the Chippewas.
• CMU Senior Guard Micaela Kelly continues to assert herself as the top MAC player – she is the reigning league player of the year – as she is third in the conference with 23.2 points per game and in the league’s top 10 in terms of percentage of field goals lies. helps per game and steals per game.
• Sophomore guard Molly Davis scored a career high of 32 points in the 12-of-18 shooting in defeating Akron. She had 20 points in each of the Chippewas’ two previous games and is now eighth in the league with 18.8 points per game. She is also third in the conference for field goals and free throw percentages and fourth in assists per game.
• Sophomore guard Anika Weekes had 11 points and 10 rebounds – both career highlights – when she posted her first career double double in defeating Akron.
The missiles are 8-5, 4-5 and have a 74-65 loss at Buffalo. Toledo keeps opponents averaging 67.8 points per game and is third in the league defensively. The Chippewas are the team with the second highest score in the MAC (78.2).
Soleil Barnes played their first game of the season for Toledo in the loss to Buffalo. Barnes, who returned from a knee injury, scored 19 points and led the missiles.
Barnes is one of three sophomore guards who pose Toledo’s greatest threat. Quinesha Lockett averages 17.8 points per game, while Sophia Wiard averages 14.5 points and takes third place in the MAC with 4.7 assists per game.
Toledo’s top rebounder (7.7 per game) is 5-foot-10 newbie Sammi Mikonowicz.