Miami women’s will face Ohio for the Mid-American Conference tournament quarterfinals, after earning a first-round bye last week and finishing the regular season with a 58-35 win.
The ‘Hawks (20-9, 12-6 MAC) regular-season finale over Kent State (12-18, 5-13 MAC) was a defensive performance for the record books — the game was logged as the seventh-lowest scoring total allowed in program history.
Before the game, Miami’s four seniors — Jazz Smith, Kayla Brown, Molly McDonagh and Megan Galloway — were recognized in a short ceremony.
“We’ve been through a lot together these last four years,” McDonagh said. “Coach [Megan] Duffy and the staff and my teammates just made it incredibly special for us. It’s icing on the cake to get a win today.”
Junior forward Kendall McCoy and sophomore guard Lauren Dickerson, the RedHawks’ top two offensive threats, found themselves in foul trouble early in the first half. This left room for other players to step up and Brown would lead the team with 11 points on the day.
The ‘Hawks would hold the Golden Flashes to only 27.5 percent shooting for the contest, and have stepped up their defensive intensity as the season has come to a close.
“I think we know who we are,” head coach Megan Duffy said. “We’ve picked a plan defensively that’s going to protect our team and what fits us. We’ve learned to trust each other and be in the right position.”
The Red & White’s entire bench fit into the game on Saturday, as Duffy was able to rest her higher-scoring players like Dickerson and McCoy before heading to Cleveland for the MAC Tournament. Freshman guard Kenzie Schmitz and junior forward Kristen Levering played 14 and eight minutes, respectively.
Miami secured a first-round bye, and will play tomorrow when they face No. 5 seed Ohio University after the Bobcats defeated the Akron Zips yesterday night. Miami swept Ohio this season — 65-55 at home and 78-56 in Athens.
“I think the big thing is, despite getting the four-seed, we have nothing to lose,” Duffy said. “Just to come with a confidence and keep the underdog mentality.”
The RedHawks’ MAC quarterfinals game will be televised on ESPN3. Tip-off at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Quicken Loans Arena, home to the Cleveland Cavaliers.