HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Coming off a great comeback win over Youngstown State, the Miami University women’s basketball team makes the short trip across the state line to take on Northern Kentucky on Saturday at 7 p.m. Bill Douglas has the call and it can be heard live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.
LOCAL TEAMS: With NKU having made the move two seasons ago, the Tri-State area now has six Division I schools. Since Xavier joined the Big East this season, amazingly the teams are located in six different conferences. Despite this, Miami has a lot of history playing its local rivals. All-time, the RedHawks are 15-15 vs. Cincinnati, 13-16 vs. Dayton, 5-6 vs. Northern Kentucky, 22-5 vs. Wright State and 10-7 vs. Xavier for a total record of 65-49 (.570 winning percentage). By comparison, Cincinnati’s record is 84-63 (.571), Dayton is 108-69 (.610), NKU is 31-14 (.689), Wright State is 22-96 (.186) and Xavier is 61-79 (.436).
BENCH SCORING KEY: The RedHawks are currently averaging 25.7 points per game from their bench. That scoring difference has been important, as Miami is allowing opposing teams only 16.0 points per game from their bench players. Freshman guard Jillian Spurlock leads the way, having scored 45 points in six games (7.5 points per game) as she is usually one of the first reserve guards to see action. Among the forwards, sophomore Hannah McCue has scored 31 points in seven games (4.4 points per game). Overall, bench players have played 547 minutes, while the starters have been on the floor for 853 minutes.
ABOUT NORTHERN KENTUCKY: In their second year as a Division I program, Northern Kentucky has gotten off to a strong start with a 4-3 record. The Norse have not played for a week, as they are coming off a tournament championship at Robert Morris’ tournament last weekend. They defeated the host Colonels on Nov. 29, 71-62, and took the championship with a 70-61 victory over UT-Martin the next day. NKU gets the bulk of its scoring from two players, led by junior forward Melody Doss. She averages 21.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Senior guard Kayla Thacker is second in both categories, averaging 12.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest.
SERIES WITH THE NORSE: Miami and Northern Kentucky used to play all the time in the 1970s and early 1980s, until the NCAA took over women’s college basketball and the two teams found themselves in different divisions. The Norse lead the all-time series with the RedHawks, 6-5. Last season on Nov. 25, 2012 in Oxford, the teams met for the first time since 1982. Miami came away with a 63-52 victory in that contest. Courtney Osborn led the way with 20 points, while Maddie McCallie contributed 15.
MIAMI VS. ATLANTIC SUN: The Atlantic Sun is made up of 10 schools located in the Southeast,Tennessee and Kentucky. The conference recently expanded by welcoming several schools that have recently completed (or in the case of Norther Kentucky, currently in) the transition from Division II to Division I. Because of the distance and relative lack of Division I history in the conference, the RedHawks have very little experience against Atlantic Sun Schools. In fact, other than the 11 games Miami played against NKU over 20 years ago, the only other team the RedHawks have face from the conference is Stetson. They have a 3-1 record all-time against the Hatters. Miami has never faced East Tennessee State, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Mercer, North Florida or South Carolina-Upstate.
UP NEXT FOR THE REDHAWKS: Miami will take the next week off for final exams. Over the winter break, the RedHawks will head to sunny California for a pair of games. On Tuesday, Dec. 17, Miami returns to action when it travels to Long Beach State for a 10 p.m. (EST) contest. The road trip concludes on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 9 p.m. (EST), when the ‘Hawks face San Diego State. Both games will be heard live on WMOH, as well as Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.