We open MAC play at Eastern Michigan Wednesday

7:00 on ESPN+ according to EMU, ESPN3 according to Miami. We managed to go the entire calendar year of 2022 without winning a road game. This year we are 5-2 at home and 0-6 away from Oxford. After finishing towards the bottom of the MAC last year Eastern has an 8-3 record this year, although not playing as tough a schedule as we have. They did win at Xavier, who defeated us in Oxford.

Fred Castro is in his 8th season at Eastern and has won the last 4 games against Miami. Last year we lost both games by around 10 points. Miami does hold a big lead in the all time series. The Eagles are led by power forward Cenara Skanes, who was a third team all MAC player last year.

1 Like

Dick how many healthy players are on the women’s roster?

Everyone but Jordan Tuff.

Do you know why Morrow missed the Tiffin game or if she can play Wednesday. Our Chinese girl also missed the Tiffin game, but she is not in the rotation.

No, I don’t know about Morrow, whether injury or something else. As for Jessie Dai, I never noticed she wasn’t dressed.

We lead 13 - 8 after one, primarily because we are 3 for 3 on threes while Eastern is 0 for 7. A scary stat is we have 5 turnovers to Eastern’s zero.

Eastern hit 4 threes in the second quarter and now lead 30-24 at the half. Lachelle Ausin has 11 points and 7 rebounds, while Olivia Smith hit 3 treys for 9. None of our stars are doing much. Cluse has 7 points and 5 rebounds, while Wolf has been held to a pair of threes for 6 points and Scott has just one three for 3 points. Rebounds are even, but we have 6 turnovers to their one. No one is in any foul trouble as they are not calling anything either way.

56-52 Eastern at the end of 3. Wolf with 18, Cluse with 13, Freeman with 9. Smith has 18 and Austin 16 for the Eagles.

And we lose by one point. Cluse got a defensive rebound with 10 seconds to go and we hurried up court and Peyton Scott missed a jumper at the buzzer. Crap. Our best effort on the road this year but still not quite good enough. We only committed 11 fouls and only had 11 turnovers, so we did not beat ourselves tonight. Wolf had 18 points and 4 assists. Cluse had 18 points and 8 rebounds. Scott and Freeman each had 11 points. For Eastern Smith had 18, Austin had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and their star Skanes had14 points and 12 rebounds.

Finally this team has cleaned up it’s ball handling and fouling. They have shortened the bench, but still not enough. They no longer waste their energy and fouls on pressing. We have 3 top level MAC players who need to be on the floor basically 40 minutes for us to beat a good team ( Eastern is 9-3). Then we have 3 other players who are divisional 1 talented players but marginal for this level. The rest of the roster is not good enough to play on a winning MAC team.

Eastern basically has a similar roster. Their 3 top girls played 40, 40, and 39 minutes. Their best player played most of the 4th quarter with 4 fouls. Our girls were in no foul trouble at all, but our 3 stars played 38, 35, and 34 minutes. So that is 12 minutes difference, 12 minutes when all their stars were on the court and we had lesser players playing. Star players in women’s college basketball do not come off the court if at all possible when the game in in doubt. That is the biggest reason we lost last night. Eastern used only 2 girls off the bench, we used 3, which is one too many for our roster.

Once again last night we mismanaged an end of the quarter situation. At the end of the third quarter, down 4, we got the ball with 30 seconds to go and Wolf got fouled driving with 7 seconds to go and made both but they got downcourt and scored at the buzzer. Countless times this season we have had similar results, and these last second situations happens 4 times a game in women’s college hoops. The goal should be to shoot the ball with around 3 seconds to go so that we have a chance to get a rebound basket if we miss and they do not have time to get the ball up court for a shot. These situations should be practiced regularly until we start to execute correctly.

These last two paragraphs are about minor things, not the major issues which needed correcting earlier in the year. We are close now, correcting these things could change losses into wins.

1 Like

Not having enough D1 talent falls on the coach.

Well obviously there were some issues when 6 girls who played last year and still had eligibility remaining left. I would say that most of those girls were recruiting mistakes, but a couple of them might have helped our depth.

1 Like