The Miami RedHawks beat the Bowling Green Falcons 75-62 at Millett Hall on Saturday for their 11th straight victory.
It was expected. But it meant a whole more than an average win against the last-place team in the Mid-American Conference East.
Miami Athletics hosted its annual Love, Honor, Care Day, supporting and bringing awareness to women battling cancer in the Oxford area. There were multiple on-court and video tributes throughout the afternoon.
“It’s always special,” junior guard Lauren Dickerson said. “All the fans out there, the survivors, it’s always great to have them out there.”
Even with the arena’s focus on something bigger than the game, the RedHawks’ play to start the first half didn’t falter.
“We tried, today, to really lock in on the basketball piece because our support staff did an incredible job of getting this day ready with our Love, Honor, Care event and the silent auction and everything,” head coach Megan Duffy.
The Falcons (8-17, 1-13 MAC) scored the first points of the game when senior center Maddie Cole made a layup to take a 2-0 lead.
Once junior forward Savannah Kluesner tied it at 2-2, Bowling Green never led again.
Senior guard Leah Purvis handed Miami its first advantage (4-2) with a layup.
After the Falcons knotted it at six, junior guard Lauren Dickerson hit a mid-range jumpshot to give the RedHawks an 8-6 lead and spark a 9-0 run.
It was all Miami the rest of the half as it went ahead 45-34 right before the halftime break.
Dickerson scored 18 points before intermission and finished with a game-high 25.
“I’m feeling great,” Dickerson said. “Late in the season, you don’t have room to be tired or want to be out. [My teammates and I] are getting it done.”
After breezing through the first half, the RedHawks struggled throughout the third quarter.
Bowling Green outscored Miami 18-10 and cut its deficit all the way to three points by the end of period. Halfway through the quarter, the RedHawks led by just one point — their smallest lead since the first quarter.
Miami shot 26.7 percent from the field while the Falcons made 50 percent of their shots in the third.
“We were overthinking a little bit,” Dickerson said. “We were executing a few plays, but then some plays, we weren’t.”
After zero points on 0-of-4 shooting during the third quarter, Dickerson bounced back in the fourth, putting up seven points. She helped her teammates play the way the Falcons did in the third quarter, with the RedHawks outscoring Bowling Green 20-10 in the period to close out a 75-62 victory.
Overall, Miami made 45 percent of its shots from the field compared to 41.3 percent for the Falcons. Bowling Green won the rebounding battle 38-35. The RedHawks turned the ball over nine times but forced 17 BG giveaways.
Three other RedHawks joined Dickerson with double-digit point totals. Senior forward Kendall McCoy recorded 13 while Kluesner and Purvis both added 11. Kluesner grabbed 14 boards to complete a double-double.
Junior forward Andrea Cecil played the entire 40-minute game for the Falcons and led her team in scoring with 23 points. Freshman guard Kadie Hempfling put together a solid all-around performance with 14 points and team-highs in rebounds (seven) and assists (five).
Miami returns to action on Wednesday when it visits Kent State. The contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will air on ESPN+.