The RedHawks secured a much needed win in front of a home crowd Saturday, defeating Mid-American Conference rival Ohio University 64-55. It was Miami’s first victory over OU since the 2012-13 season.
Led by sophomore guard Lauren Dickerson’s 27 points (11-of-22 shooting), five assists and five steals, Miami held off a late push from the Bobcats. The RedHawks move to 12-8 on the season, and 4-5 in the MAC.
“I’m just really proud of our group,” head coach Megan Duffy said, “We kind of hung in there for 40 minutes, we had a confidence about us. For our group to understand that, if we bring a toughness and a mentality coming in, we have a chance to be the underdog and knock off some of the bigger teams.”
It was clear from the outset the rivalry between Miami and Ohio is one of the strongest in the Midwest, as both teams traded baskets early in the first quarter.
Dickerson got off to a hot start, hitting all five of her first quarter shots for 10 points. Bobcats sophomore guard Dominique Doseck went 3-of-3 for eight points in the first quarter, and kept things close. The period finished favoring the RedHawks, 19-15. Doseck finished with 18 points.
Ohio increased its defensive pressure in the second quarter, pushing the Miami turnover total into double-digits before the end of the half.
Dickerson continued to control the game on both ends of the floor, ending the half with 18 points, four assists and two steals. Heading into the break, the Red & White held a 36-30 lead.
The Bobcats came into the second half determined to slow down Dickerson, often utilizing a double-team at the top of the key. This forced the RedHawks’ point guard to look to her teammates for offense.
Junior forward Kendall McCoy stepped up and proved she is the team’s lethal offensive weapon in the frontcourt. McCoy’s ability to stretch the floor has been invaluable for Miami this season.
“Kendall’s been great for us, whether she was coming off the bench earlier in the season or starting for us. She brings that consistent offensive threat,” Duffy said. “Obviously, she can shoot the ball really well, and then to see her get 12 boards was big. She’s kind of filling in that role of second scorer — that has helped [Lauren] so much this year.”
McCoy would finish with 17 points and 12 rebounds — good for a double-double.
The RedHawks ended the third quarter with a 12-2 run, and carried a 56-42 lead into the final period.
The Bobcats would not go quietly and used a full-court press that gave Miami fits for most of the fourth quarter. With six minutes left, Ohio had cut the Miami lead to four points, at 58-54. MU scored the next five points to regain momentum, and held off their opponents to secure the victory.
Miami dominated the undersized Bobcat frontcourt, winning the rebound battle by a whopping 20 boards. OU has struggled with winning rebounds all season, and average 10 less rebounds than their opponents per game.
“They made us make 27 turnovers, but we got the dub, so it’s okay,” Dickerson said postgame.
Miami continues conference play on Wednesday, against the Northern Illinois Huskies (10-10, 2-7 MAC). The RedHawks travel to Dekalb, Illinois and the game will stream on ESPN3.