Top-ranked Irish Too Much for Chippewas

Nov. 11, 2016

Box Score

Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Best part about it?

"We don't have to play them anymore," CMU women's basketball coach Sue Guevara said after her Chippewas lost, 107-47, Friday to the nation's top-ranked team, Notre Dame, in the season opener for both teams.

"We couldn't do anything," Guevara said. "They're bigger, they're more physical, they outweigh us. I thought that we came out very, very tight. When you have three starters in the first five minutes pick up two fouls each, we're going to be in trouble."

Notre Dame raced to a 15-0 lead just over three minutes after the opening tip and the Chippewas never seriously threatened a team that returned three starters including two-time All-American Brianna Turner from a team that won the Atlantic Coast Conference and finished 33-2 a year ago.

The Chippewas will await their second-round Preseason WNIT opponent. They won't know who, where and when they play until Saturday.

CMU, picked in the preseason poll to win the Mid-American Conference, got a career-high 15 points from Aleah Swary and 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive end, from Reyna Frost.

They were two of the individual bright spots for CMU, which made just seven of its 33 3-point tries (21.2 percent) and finished 17-for-63 (27 percent) from the field overall. By comparison, the Chippewas knocked down 34.2 percent of their triple-tries and 42.1 percent of their overall field goal attempts last season.

Tinara Moore added 10 points for CMU.

Arike Ogunbowale scored 30 points on 12-of-13 shooting to lead the Irish, who had four players finish in double figures and made 61.5 percent of their field goal attempts.

"We knew it was going to be a battle coming in," Guevara said. "They're just really good. I talked to our kids about battling; just make sure that we battled. For the most part we did."

Guevara, who is in her 10th year in charge of the CMU program, has routinely put past teams in these types of early season situations: A ranked opponent on that opponent's home floor.

Friday's game marked the first time in CMU program history that it had played the No. 1-ranked team, and the game played out before 8,454 fans at Notre Dame's Purcell Pavilion.

"I told the kids it's going to be a long season and it's just the first game - the first mile of a marathon, and we just ran it really slow," said Guevara, whose team was picked to win the Mid-American Conference. "It's the first game and we got it handed to us by the No. 1 team in the country.

"They'll come back. This has happened to us in the past. They're pretty resilient. They come to practice and they come ready. That part I'm not worried about. They'll come back hard and I know they're going to come back to play."

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