CMU Women Eye Rebound In WNIT

CMU coach Sue Guevara and her Chippewas look to bounce back on Thursday when they play at Wright State in a first-round Women's NIT game.
March 15, 2017

23-8, 15-3 MAC
24-8, 15-3 Horizon
Thursday, March 16 | 7 p.m.
Dayton, Ohio | Nutter Center
TALENT: Scott Leo (PxP), Justin Kinner (analyst)
TALENT: Jesse Goldberg-Strassler (PxP), Christian Taylor (analyst)
LIVE STATS: Statbroadcast

Points Per Game 78.3 68.7
Opponent Points Per Game 69.6 61.3
Field Goal Pct. .448 .390
3-Point Field Goal Pct.
.358 .270
Free Throw Pct. .777 .711
Rebounds 40.7 40.0
Assists 13.2 11.3
Turnovers 14.5 11.3
Steals 6.5 9.0
Blocks 3.8 2.4
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Andy Sneddon,

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Time heals all wounds.

It’s been a week since the Central Michigan women’s basketball team was upset by Western Michigan in a quarterfinal game in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

The Chippewas, seeded No. 1, walked into Cleveland for the tourney with the MAC regular-season title in their back pocket and with legitimate designs on an NCAA Tournament berth.

That dream ended with the loss to Broncos. The Chippewas have re-adjusted their focus on the Women’s NIT and their first-round opponent, Wright State. CMU and the Raiders will square off on Thursday (7 p.m.) at Wright State’s Nutter Center.

“I was pleased yesterday with practice,” CMU coach Sue Guevara said on Tuesday. “I thought that we got after it pretty well. The disappointment, if it’s there, it’s not lingering.

“Was it fresh earlier? Sure, you bet. But you know what? It’s time to move on. It’s a new season again. You have to move forward.”

And the Chippewas had better do that or their fifth trip in the last seven years to the WNIT will be a short one. The Raiders are 24-8 and shared the Horizon League regular-season championship, their first.

“The message is the same as it’s been all year,” said Guevara, whose team is 23-8 and coming off the first MAC regular-season title since 1985. “We need to be better the next time we go out. We need to be better at executing down the stretch. We need to do a better job of taking care of the ball, by pass faking and shot faking and moving to the ball and understanding time and score. That’s what we have to be better at.”

The Chippewas faltered down the stretch in their loss to Western Michigan, committing turnovers on five of their last six possessions in squandering a six-point lead.

“I think we need to have better guard play on both ends of the floor,” Guevara said, adding that that includes scoring “and we need to have more assists than we do turnovers. I think we really have to limit the amount of points our opponent gets off of turnovers and second-chance points.”

Thursday’s game features two of the nation’s best rebounders in CMU’s Reyna Frost and Wright State’s Lexi Smith. Frost ranks sixth among NCAA Division I players at 11.3 boards per game, while Smith leads the nation with 6.0 offensive rebounds per game.

“She has 179 total offensive rebounds,” Guevara said. “Reyna Frost has 136 and you know Frostie gets after it.”

The Raiders average 39.9 rebounds per game, which ranks second in the Horizon. Symone Simmons leads Wright State at 9.1 boards per, while Smith averages 8.9.

Chelsea Welch, a First-Team All-Horizon pick, is Wright State’s top scorer at 18.6 points per game.

The CMU-Wright State winner will play a second-round game against either Kent State (19-12) or Michigan (22-9). The Wolverines and Golden Flashes play Thursday (7 p.m.) in Ann Arbor.

Guevara coached the Wolverines from 1996-2003, guiding them to five postseason tournament berths, three in the NCAA, two in the WNIT.

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