The Miami University women’s basketball team dropped its sixth straight game on Saturday afternoon to Ball State University by a score of 81-60. The RedHawks (7-16, 1-9 MAC) hung tough with one of the MAC’s top teams, but found themselves unable to overcome a slow start.

“We got to get smarter. We got to get more consistent. We got to learn from it and keep our eyes forward,” head coach Cleve Wright said.

The Cardinals (16-7, 9-2 MAC) jumped out on a quick 5-0 run that was ended by a basket by Miami’s freshman guard Lauren Dickerson. Both squads were deadlocked at 5-2 for the first five minutes until BSU broke the game wide open with a 19-5 run behind two three-pointers from  junior forward Moriah Monace. When the dust settled, the Cards had a healthy 24-7 advantage.

Miami rallied in the second quarter, overcoming their sluggish start as Dickerson hit three of four from behind the arc. The ’Hawks ended the quarter on a 7-0 run as a layup by junior forward Molly McDonagh narrowed the Cardinals lead to 39-30 going into halftime.

In the third quarter, MU kept the game close, never letting BSU pull away. A layup by sophomore forward Kristen Levering pulled the RedHawks back within six points, but the Cardinals quickly responded by scoring the next four points. Still, the Red and White found themselves within striking distance down 56-48 heading into the fourth quarter.

The RedHawks never got anything going in the fourth quarter, and the Cardinals ran away with the ball game. Ball State shot 76.9 percent from the foul line for the quarter as they outscored Miami 25-12 in the game’s final ten minutes.

The Red and White held up for three quarters against one of the MAC’s elite teams, but were unable to get the victory against a solid Ball State team.

Dickerson shot 8-of-18 from the field en route to a 21-point performance. Freshman forward Savannah Kluesner finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Ball State shot 33.3 percent from three-point range for the contest, while Miami hit on just 22.2 percent of its three point attempts. After the first quarter, the Cards only outscored the ’Hawks by a narrow 57-53 margin.

“Every one of them fought. I do feel like they were fighting to do their best,” Wright said.

Miami hopes to get out to a much faster start on Wednesday night as it squares off against the University of Akron at 7 p.m. at Millet Hall in the hopes of breaking a six game losing skid.