The Miami University women’s basketball team (3-2) defeated the College of Charleston (CofC) Cougars Friday and lost to Youngstown State University Penguins Sunday. The loss against Youngstown State snapped a three game winning streak for the RedHawks.
Junior forward Erica Almady led Miami with 13 points against Charleston and added six rebounds. Senior guard Courtney Osborn was the only other RedHawk in double figures, with 10 points, and added six assists, five rebounds and three steals.
“Once my guards got me the ball, I knew that I had to finish,” Almady said. “That was my job today.”
The RedHawks outrebounded the Cougars 56-42 and held CofC to 21.4 (15 for 70) shooting. While Miami forced 24 turnovers, they had a season-high 32 turnovers of their own.
“It was an overall sloppy game for us, but I’m proud of how we finished this game.” Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa said.
Miami got off to a strong start against the Cougars, as back-to-back scores by junior forward Almady and senior forward Kirsten Olowinski sparked a 10-2 run to start the game. CofC answered with a quick three to cut the lead to 10-5, but the Miami defense had their best stretch of the season as they would hold the Cougars without a field goal for the next 11:43. The RedHawks capitalized on their great defensive play to go on a 16-4 run, capped by a layup from junior center Kelsey Simon, to take a 26-9 lead with 3:10 left in the first half. The Cougars turned up their press at that point, and finished the half on a 9-0 run to cut Miami’s lead to 26-18.
“They had a very aggressive press,” Osborn said. “We showed that if we were aggressive, we made things happen.”
The CofC press continued to create turnovers early in the second half, as the Cougars rallied to get the game within four points, at 34-30 with 12:51 left in the game. The RedHawks took control of the game for good with a 9-3 run, capped by layups from Almady and Simon. Miami junior guard Haley Robertson hit two jumpers after that to push the RedHawk lead to 51-38 with 5:10 left, and those would be the last field goals Miami needed. The Cougars did not score over the next three minutes, and only scored four points for the rest of the game. Osborn went four of four from the free throw line to seal the 55-42 win for the RedHawks.
Sunday’s game did not start as well for Miami, as the Penguins went on an early 8-2 run. The RedHawk offense struggled early, as the team only scored eight points in the first 13 minutes, allowing Youngstown State to take a 17-8 lead. Osborn finally got the Miami offense going when she hit a three pointer at the 6:44 mark. Youngstown State answered with a quick layup, but Miami went on a 12-0 run over the next five minutes to take a 23-19 lead. The Penguins closed the half on a 6-2 run of their own to tie the game at 25 going into the half.
“Even through our slow start, it was our defense that kept us in the game,” Osborn said. “In the first half, we played team defense and had a lot of help.”
Youngstown State scored the first point of the second half, but an Osborn three pointer would give the RedHawks a 28-26 lead with 18:55 left. However, that would be the last lead of the game for Miami, as the Penguins took control with a 19-6 run to take a 45-34 lead at the 13:59 mark. The RedHawks were able to cut the deficit to 52-44 after another Osborn three pointer at 9:23, but wouldn’t get any closer as Youngstown State put the game away with a 15-7 run. The Penguins were able to hit most of their free throws down the stretch to secure the 76-56 victory.
“Everything we did in the first half, we just didn’t get there in the second half,” Fantanrosa said. “In the second half, we just stood and watched.”
Youngstown State shot 47.1 percent (24 for 51) for the game, including a stunning 63.6 percent (14 for 22) in the second half. The RedHawks shot 37.7 percent (20 for 53) for the game, and only Osborn scored in double figures for Miami. She finished with 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, and four steals. Olowinski was second on the team with nine points, and also led the RedHawks with five rebounds.
Miami returns to the court on 11 a.m. Wednesday, as it travels to take on the ninth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats, who are 4-1 on the season. The Wildcats are averaging 78.8 points per game, and their only loss on the season was on the road against top-ranked Baylor University.