The women’s basketball team fell to 12-15 on the season with a 87-60 loss to rival Central Michigan on Women In Sports Day at the Convocation Center on March 2.
The Eagles shot just 39.7 percent from the field in the loss compared to the Chippewas’ 55.2 percent.
Courtnie Lewis got the scoring started for Eastern Michigan in the opening minute, knocking down a 3-pointer from the top of the key but Central Michigan would soon go on a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead. After the first quarter, the Eagles were still within striking distance, trailing 17-13. Lewis had a team-high four points after the first period.
The second quarter was a much different story, though. Central Michigan opened the quarter with two consecutive 3-pointers, the second of which was by Reyna Frost. The Chippewas would eventually go on an 11-0 run that forced a timeout by EMU coach Fred Castro. Later in the quarter, CMU put together a 10-0 spurt, which included a 3-pointer from Maddy Watters. She had 12 points in the first half. Central Michigan outscored EMU by 17 in the second quarter and led 40-19 at halftime.
“They’re really good; I mean, that’s what they do,” Castro said. “We decided we were going to keep Reyna Frost from getting touches in the paint and doing what she does, so we gave up shots to one player in particular and to her credit, she made them. We just didn’t execute on finishing the plays.”
Eastern Michigan had a couple of runs in the third quarter, including a 10-2 run that cut the lead to 12. Jenna Annecchiarico finished an and-one that helped get the Eagles a little closer. With 3:17 left in the period, Eastern Michigan’s press defense helped force a couple of turnovers and made it 54-42 in favor of CMU. But every time it felt like the Eagles were gaining momentum, there would be an answer from the Chippewas. Just minutes later, Watters connected on another 3-pointer to put CMU up by 18.
After three quarters, Central Michigan led 64-48. In the final period, Lewis fouled out for Eastern Michigan with 8:59 left and her day ended with 10 points. Frost, Micaela Kelly and Watters continued to help Central extend its lead, which increased to as much as 30 points in the fourth quarter. The Chippewas would go on to win 87-60 to earn their 22nd win of the season. Central Michigan was led by 24 points from Watters as she shot 66.6 percent from the field.
Eastern Michigan’s leading scorer was Corrione Cardwell who finished with 18 points. Annecchiarico added 11 for the Eagles. Frost and Kelly combined for 42 points for Central Michigan. The Chippewas made 11 more 3-pointers than the Eagles, while also outrebounding them 40-27 and totaling 10 more assists.
“We missed layups,” Castro said. “I lost count on how many layups we missed. We got great looks. Offense is designed to create great opportunities, so the offense worked, but at the end of the day, we have to make the plays. I mean, this is easily an NCAA Tournament team. And not just that, it’s probably a Sweet Sixteen team.”
The Eagles’ next game will be against Toledo on March 6, which is Senior Night at the Convocation Center.