Justin Maskulinski, Senior Staff Writer

The Miami University women’s basketball team is taking on the best team in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Saturday.

The ‘Hawks (7-15, 3-8 MAC) will make the long drive up to Mt. Pleasant, Mich. to take on Central Michigan University (15-7, 11-0 MAC).

The RedHawks are coming off a loss at Bowling Green State University (20-3, 10-1 MAC) Sunday, and freshman forward Nicole Anderson said the six-day break between tough opponents will benefit the RedHawks.

“I think [the break] will help a lot,” Anderson said. “We’ve had a couple days just shooting and resting our legs, and we had a day off. Hopefully we can get back at it and our legs will be ready to go for Central [Michigan] on Saturday.”

The RedHawks take on a top-notch opponent Saturday, but head coach Cleve Wright said the ‘Hawks should focus on themselves.

“We can’t be concerned about [Central Michigan] more than we are concerned about ourselves,” Wright said. “I felt like we were overly concerned about [Bowling Green] in the last game and didn’t take care of preparing ourselves. I felt like Miami beat Miami at Bowling Green, not to take anything away from Bowling Green; they are a very good team. We need to make sure we’re ready to play physically and emotionally at Central Michigan.”

Wright said the six-day break is an opportunity to improve the team health-wise and help the team’s strategy.

“Certainly I think [the break] helps,” Wright said. “It rests our legs and it allows us to heal, we’ve had a couple people out. It’s also a chance for us to regroup a little bit, put some new things in, and tweak some things.”

The RedHawks have seven regular season MAC games remaining before they enter the conference tournament, and Wright has expectations for the Red and White as they head down the final stretch of the season.

“I expect us to take steps forward and play better together,” Wright said. “We need to be more efficient on the offensive end and be tougher on the defensive end. We are capable of all of those things.”

Wright said the ‘Hawks will improve if they can play the game more consistently.

“We’re capable of taking steps in a positive direction,” Wright said. “At the beginning of the year we were doing it some of the time, and then we started doing it most of the time, and we haven’t got to the point when we’re doing it all the time. Taking steps towards doing it all the time is the key.”

Anderson said in order to be in the right mindset to take on Central Michigan, the ‘Hawks need to avoid thinking about their opponent.

“I think we have to bounce back after [Bowling Green],” Anderson said. “To be ready for the [Central Michigan], we need to not think about how good they are and just go out there and play our hardest.”