On Saturday, Miami hosted the University of Buffalo in the teams’ second matchup of the season. After losing a tight 72-67 game in Buffalo earlier this season, the RedHawks were looking to knock off UB, who sat one ahead of Miami at the top of the Mid-American Conference East division.
Following Wednesday’s 67-58 victory against Toledo, the Red and White were riding a five-game win streak into the matchup against Buffalo (19-4, 10-2 MAC).
Things didn’t go as planned for the ‘Hawks, who fell 64-49 at the hands of the visitors. Offensively, it was perhaps the poorest game Miami (15-9, 7-6 MAC) has played all year.
“Disappointed with our offensive performance. I thought we weren’t great from the field tonight,” head coach Megan Duffy said. “Give Buffalo credit for their pressure at times, for their physicality in the paint and blocking shots.”
Junior forward Kendall McCoy made an early impact in the game by scoring eight points in the first five minutes, and 10 in the first quarter. Miami didn’t do much to stop the Bulls’ offense, who went 8-for-14 from the field in the opening quarter and led 20-17 going into the second.
In the second quarter, the Red and White really began to struggle from the field, and went 2-of-18 in the quarter — scoring only six points, a season low. McCoy would score four of those and, at the break, only three RedHawks had scored — sophomore guard Lauren Dickerson had seven points, and Redshirt junior guard Baleigh Reid had two.
Buffalo carried a 33-23 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter, the RedHawks got even colder, including a stretch where they went 0-for-11. Nonetheless, the ‘Hawks continued to hustle on the defensive end, which kept the game relatively close. The Bulls only had a 46-35 lead after the third quarter.
Miami eventually broke and gave way to the visitors’ onslaught, and the floodgates opened in front of a somber Millet Hall crowd. The game was a 15-point victory for Buffalo, who led the game for 36 of the 40 minutes played.
The RedHawks shot a middling 28 percent for the game, and an even worse 9 percent from three. It was uncharacteristic of the ‘Hawks, who earlier this season were one of most efficient shooting teams in the country.
McCoy continued to show she’s more than just a second option for the ‘Hawks, finishing with 21 points and seven rebounds on the day.
In both the victory against Toledo and the loss to Buffalo, Junior forward Kristin Levering has begun to see more minutes on the court. She was one of the lone bright spots on Saturday, putting in eight points in eight minutes on the floor.
The Bulls’ standout senior center Cassie Oursler was dominant on both ends of the floor throughout the game. She would finish with 14 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.
In Wednesday’s game against Toledo, Lauren Dickerson became the fastest player to reach 1,000 career points in Miami Women’s Basketball history. On Saturday, her shot was off for the entire game, and she finished with nine points on 3-of-22 shooting (2-of-14 from 3-point range). It was Dickerson’s first time without points in double-digits since Jan. 28, 2017.
However, the loss could not damper spirits, as it was the Miami’s fifth annual “Love.Honor.Care Weekend.” Money was raised for local cancer patients through the foundation Luna Cares, who partnered with the university to host silent auctions, sell special apparel and raise money for their cause. All of the money raised will go to local cancer patients.
“Despite the loss today, an incredible weekend for Miami Athletics — supporting the Love.Honor.Care project and raising money for cancer.” Duffy said. “That was definitely the highlight versus the outcome of today.”
The RedHawks have the week off until Saturday when they travel to Kent to face the Kent State Golden Flashes at 4:30 p.m.