The Eastern Michigan Eagles (14-15, 9-9) women's basketball team lost their last regular season game versus the Central Michigan Chippewas on Saturday, March 7 at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant. Courtnie Lewis led EMU with 22 points, while Areanna Combs totaled 21 points and four rebounds in the loss.
The game started as a hard fought battle between the Eagles and Chips. After CMU took an early 7-3 lead, the Eagles gained momentum with two quick buckets to tie the game at seven, prior to the first media timeout. Shortly after the break, each team traded buckets. Combs, a redshirt junior, scored a 3-pointer, which was also her first shot of the game to lead EMU.
However, the Chips regained momentum and took a six-point lead at 18-12 after the first quarter. Going into the second quarter being down by six points, the Eagles began to own the period after draining multiple threes. Lewis and sophomore point guard Jenna Annecchiarico hit three consecutive 3-pointers to jump out to a lead.
The Eagles then started a nine-point run. EMU outscored Central Michigan 29-12 throughout the second quarter and went into the half with an impressive 14-point lead, 41-27. Lewis dominated the first half for the Eagles with a team-high 14 points, shooting 5-of-6 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the 3-point line.
Combs had 13 points at the half. The two combined for 27 first half points. Corrione Cardwell also contributed with five points off the bench. The Chips regained momentum after coming out of the half. Within six minutes, CMU outscored the Eagles 21-6 in the third quarter to regain the lead at 48-47. The Eagles kept fighting back and ended the third quarter with a three-point lead at 55-52.
However, the Eagles fell short in the fourth quarter. The Chippewas scored nine 3-pointers in the second half and ultimately outscored the Eagles 49-28 to close the game out with a victory. Central Michigan came from behind and defeated the Eagles, 76-69. Lewis had a team-high 22 points, shooting 50% from the floor and draining five triples. To go along with her scoring numbers, Lewis also grabbed 11 rebounds. Those statistics gives Lewis her third career double-double and her first since her freshman campaign.
Combs continued her double-digit scoring streak with 21 points and four rebounds to finish the game. Annecchiarico finished the game with 13 points, while Cardwell finished with seven points. The Chips put up better scoring numbers than the Eagles as they shot an overall 42% from the floor while the Eagles shot 36%.
The Chips also had the advantage in scoring behind the line while shooting 39%. The Eagles weren’t too far behind with a 34% clip from beyond-the-arc. Central Michigan also made the most out of their free throws. The team shot an overall 76% from the foul line. Meanwhile, the Eagles made 68% of its foul shots. EMU was also outrebounded 48-34 by the Chippewas.
After the loss against CMU, the Eagles must now focus on the MAC Tournament. The Eagles will have the No. 7 seed and will matchup against the No. 10 seed Northern Illinois Huskies in the first round on Monday, March 9, at the
Convocation Center. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m. If the Eagles win, they will advance to the quarterfinals in Cleveland on Wednesday, March 11.