The RedHawks split their games over the weekend in the Loyola Marymount University Thanksgiving Classic in Los Angeles. The ‘Hawks lost to LMU 84-71 on Friday, and defeated Denver University 69-52 on Saturday.
On Friday, Miami seemed to be in the driver’s seat in the first half against the Classic’s host, the LMU Lions. After scoring the first two buckets of the game, the ‘Hawks kept their lead for the rest of the half. Hitting a remarkable 8-of-11 from behind the arc in the first half — including going 5-for-5 in the first quarter — MU entered the break with a commanding nine-point lead at 42-33.
The second half, however, was dominated by the hosts. The Lions owned the paint, and outscored the RedHawks in the second half 51-29. LMU took their first lead of the game, 57-56 just seconds into the fourth quarter.
LMU would not look back, and completed the rally with a convincing 13-point victory. Junior guard Cheyanne Wallace finished the day with 30 points in as many minutes for the Lions, along with eight boards. Despite only hitting 3-of-14 three-pointers to the RedHawks’ 13-of-22, Loyola remained unbeaten Friday, pushing their record to 5-0.
For the ‘Hawks, sophomore guard Lauren Dickerson strung together an impressive statline with 25 points and eight assists, going an astounding 7-for-12 from deep.
Reeling from a disappointing loss the day before, the RedHawks took on Denver University on Saturday, and were sure to not let up on the gas.
Junior guard Leah Purvis started hot in the first half, hitting four shots from beyond the arc. Purvis would finish with a team-high 17 points. Once again, head coach Megan Duffy’s team entered halftime with a nine-point lead, 33-24.
“It was really important for us to bounce back from the LMU game yesterday by putting together a better 40 minutes, start to finish,” Duffy said.
The Red and White kept Denver at bay with an 8-2 run at the beginning of the third quarter, and an 8-0 run to start the fourth. Denver struggled to stop Miami from scoring, however, as six different RedHawks added to their lead in the period.
“I was really proud of our team’s effort and determination tonight,” Duffy said. “We had a great, balanced attack on the offensive end. We did a nice job of guarding the three-point line and limiting Denver’s open shots from the perimeter.”
Denver went 2-for-15 from behind the arc on Saturday, to Miami’s 5-for-12. The ‘Hawks’ efficiency from 3-point range has been impressive to start the year. Dickerson gave a balanced performance for Miami with 14 points and nine assists.
The RedHawks certainly left Los Angeles with a bittersweet taste in their mouths, knowing they had a real opportunity to take down Loyola Marymount on Friday. Saturday’s convincing victory, which moved the ‘Hawks to 3-3 on the season, however, should be a reminder of the team’s potential when its defensive game is on.
The Red and White are not back in action until Sunday Dec. 3, when they host the Canisius Golden Griffins. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. at Millett Hall.