By Coburn Gillies and Julia Rivera, For The Miami Student
The Miami University women’s basketball team tips off the 2015-16 season this weekend against Northern Kentucky University. The RedHawks finished the 2014-15 season ranked fourth in the Mid-American Conference East Division with a 7-23 record. Cleve Wright begins his third season as head coach of the program.
Freshmen players composed most of last year’s squad and accounted for 53.4 percent of the total minutes played. This year, the team remains young. Of the 14 players on the team, three are upperclassmen.
Below is a positional breakdown for the upcoming season.
After her freshman season, Baleigh Reid was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team. Now in her second year, Reid is determined to have a breakout campaign and looks to continue her reign as the team’s leading scorer. She totaled 320 points for an average of 10.7 points per game in 2014. Reid finished with a 35.6 field goal percentage, 86 rebounds and 31 assists.
Point forward Ana Richter returns for her sophomore year after finishing second on the team in rebounds (145) and third in field goal percentage (42. 4 percent). The Oxford local – Richter was a three-year letter winner at Talawanda High School – totaled 187 points and 31 assists last year. She’ll look to transition from guard to the forward position and will possibly see more time out on the wing.
Kendall McCoy and Leah Purvis will make their college debuts this year. Both were four-year letter winners at their respective high schools.
Purvis is the all-time leading scorer for The Buckley School in California, where she averaged 24.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, five assists and four steals per game. She also helped her AAU team to a national runner-up position in 2013. McCoy’s 1,265 career points rank third in Sylvania Northview high school history.
Other notables include sophomores Jazz Smith and Kayla Brown, who was second in total points (274), and freshmen Morgan Horvath and Nanci Hunter. Horvath finished as her high school’s career leading scorer with 1,070 points and second in career assists (253).
Seniors Hannah McCue and Jessica Rupright look to lead this year’s young group. McCue started in all 30 games last season. She led the team in rebounds (237), blocks (23) and steals (33) and was third in scoring (239 points). Rupright finished the 2014 campaign with 210 points and 108 rebounds.
In high school, freshman Kristin Levering was primarily a wing and post player, a position she may lose to Richter this season. She averaged a double-double of 11.9 points and 10.1 rebounds with 4.1 blocks per game during her senior season.
Sophomore Megan Galloway redshirted last season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. Prior to joining the RedHawks, Galloway played at the University of Detroit Mercy for one year and was named to the Horizon League All-Freshman Team. Now eligible, Galloway may be able to upset McCue to become the team’s new leading rebounder, a position she held while at Detroit.
Tamira Ford returns for her senior season after totaling 45 points and 89 rebounds in 2014. Molly McDonagh returns for her sophomore season. She led the team with a 44.6 field goal percentage.
The season’s first tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday in Oxford, Ohio.