The Miami University women’s basketball team continued to struggle Wednesday afternoon at the second annual “Class at the Court” game, losing 75-68 against Wright State University at Millett Hall.
The RedHawks played in front of roughly 1,500 students, as it was the second annual “Class at the Court” game. Students from Kramer, Bogan and Marshall elementary schools were in attendance to watch the RedHawks take on the Raiders.
“The children provided great energy, and I really want to thank the three principals for allowing us to have that energy with us today,” Miami Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa said. “It really gave us a feeling of confidence heading in. Unfortunately, we were unable to reward them with a victory.”
Fantanarosa expressed her disappointment following the loss, but said there is promise for the future of the team.
“We just have to keep the team playing hard and believing in each other,” Fantanarosa said. “Right now the majority of our team is freshmen and sophomores, so we’ve only been on the court together for two months. Wins and losses aside, we are continuing to get better.”
Doing their best to win the game for the children in attendance, the ‘Hawks received career-high scoring efforts from freshman guard Courtney Osborn, 26 points, and freshman forward Kirsten Olowinski, 14 points.
“I was just feeding off of my teammates today,” Olowinski said. “They continued to give me good looks and I stayed aggressive.”
In a bizarre turn of events, four minutes into the contest high winds knocked out power in Oxford and as a result, the lights went out in Millett Hall during the game. Play was stopped for almost 20 minutes while the teams waited for electricity to be restored.
“Both teams had gotten off to great starts when that happened, and I felt like it would slow down each team,” Fantanarosa said. “Unfortunately, it wound up slowing us down a little bit more than (Wright State). That really was an odd thing; I’ve never had that happen before.”
Miami came out strong, jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead following a three-pointer from Osborn. However, the Raiders would soon go ahead, jumping to a 14-11 lead when the powerwent out.
The teams came out of the delay struggling to shoot, and they traded baskets until halftime, when junior guard Paige Lowe hit a buzzer-beating jumper for Wright State to give them a 33-27 halftime lead. The Raiders would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game.
“Our defense just wasn’t strong enough today,” Fantanarosa said. “Wright State dominated the paint today, they just had too many post touches. Between the defense and the rebounding, that’s something we need to start taking more pride in.”
The Red and White came out strong in the second half, rattling off a 9-0 run early on to tie the game at 36. After tying the game two other times early in the half, Wright State was able to pull away.
“We really need to execute better and work harder in practice,” Olowinski said. “Offensively we were okay, but on defense they got too many easy baskets.”
Miami received a solid game from sophomore guard Maggie Boyer, as she dropped in 13 points. She was instrumental, along with Osborn, in keeping the game close.
“We were able to hit some shots to keep things close, but defensively we could not execute the way we need to,” Fantanarosa said. “You have to give Wright State credit though, they hit some big shots. Every time we got close, they kept us away.”
Wright State was led in scoring by junior center Ta-myra Davis with 15 points.
The RedHawks play next against No. 20 Dayton with tip-off at 2 p.m. Saturday at Millett Hall.