It was a rough week for the Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team as they suffered two blowout losses.
The team started with a 101-79 loss to the University of Akron on Jan. 26 and then concluded the week with an 82-67 loss to Central Michigan University on Jan. 30.
The 22-point loss to Akron was the second largest defeat EMU has suffered this season. The team’s 77-54 loss to Northern Illinois University on Jan. 12 remains the largest, to date.
The loss to Akron came on a night when Rachel Tecca broke the EMU Convocation Center record for most points with 43. Tecca shot 14-of-23 from the field, made her only three-point attempt, and was a perfect 14-for-14 from the free-throw line.
She also added 22 rebounds, six of which were offensive.
EMU coach Tory Verdi was disappointed in the lack of effort shown by his team.
“We just were bad at every aspect including myself coaching,” Verdi said. “We didn’t do our jobs tonight. We didn’t execute offensively, defensively or gameplan-wise. Akron did whatever it wanted today.”
The bright spots for EMU were freshman guard Cha Sweeney and senior forward Olivia Fouty.
Sweeney scored 25 points on 10-of-25 shooting, 4-for-6 from three and 1-of-1 from the free-throw line. Sweeney also threw in three rebounds and four assists. Fouty scored 17 points on 6-for-15 shooting, 1-of-6 from three and 4-for-5 from the line with six rebounds.
Akron shot 37-of-84 (44 percent) in the win. EMU only managed 31-of-86 (36 percent).
Thursday’s loss to CMU gave the Eagles their fourth straight loss on the road.
EMU hung tough in the first half and led 16-3 at one point. EMU held CMU to 29-of-78 (37.2 percent), but only managed 26-of-82 (31.7 percent) themselves.
“I love the start, but now we need to be consistent,” Verdi said. “We need to do it for 40 minutes.”
Sweeney and fellow freshman guard Janay Morton led the scoring for the Eagles with 26 points apiece. Morton shot 9-of-27 overall, 4-for-11 from three and 4-of-6 from the free throw line.
Sweeney was more efficient with 11-of-23 from the field, 2-for-6 from three, and 2-of-2 from the line.
Verdi said it was amazing to see what Morton and Sweeney were able to do as freshmen against CMU yet admitted they needed some help from the rest of the team.
“We can’t just win with two players,” Verdi said. “We need everyone on our team to contribute.”
Rebounding was an issue for the Eagles against CMU as well. With both teams shooting under 40 percent, rebounding and second chance points were critical. EMU was outrebounded 64 to 48, a margin of minus 16. They also were outscored in second chance points 23 to 9.
Verdi remained proud of his team even after the loss to CMU and said his team is improving.
“It’s a work in progress,” Verdi said. “I’m happy with our effort. We played extremely hard. That was something that was missing in the last game against Akron.”