KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Miami University women’s basketball team begins its quest for the Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship as the 10th seed. The RedHawks travel to seventh seed Western Michigan Monday at 7 p.m. for a first round game. Tim Bray has the call, and it can be heard live on Miami All-Access for those with a subscription.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Miami has won this event twice before, in 1982 and 2008. The 2008 championship gave the ‘Hawks their first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. All-time the Red and White are 27-27 in MAC Tournament games. Last season, as the sixth seed, Miami opened the tournament with a win in Oxford over 11th-seed Ohio, 83-61. Courtney Osborn led the ‘Hawks with 39 points in that game. Advancing to Cleveland, Miami fell to seventh-seeded Buffalo, 82-70, in the second round. Kirsten Olowinski led the RedHawks with 25 points.
WESTERN MICHIGAN IN MAC TOURNAMENT: This is the 10th time that Miami will take on Western Michigan in the MAC Tournament. The Red and White hold a 6-3 lead in those meetings. Eight of the games were neutral site, while Miami’s 2005, 74-71, first round win over the Broncos was in Oxford. This will be the first time these teams have played a MAC Tournament game against each other in Kalamazoo. The last time the RedHawks and WMU faced off in the MAC Tournament was in 2008. Miami earned a 65-60 victory in the quarterfinal round in Cleveland, en route to winning the entire event.
ABOUT WESTERN MICHIGAN: The Broncos finished the regular season at 12-17, with an 8-10 record in the MAC. WMU lost its final three games by single digits, concluding with a 59-51 setback at Northern Illinois on Saturday. Western Michigan has been led by junior forward Miracle Woods. She is averaging 16.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Another key player for the Broncos is junior forward Marquisha Harris. She is averaging 12.7 points per game. WMU is at its best when it is able to force the ball inside to score points in the paint. It only shoots 27.9 percent from behind the three-point line.
SERIES AGAINST WESTERN MICHIGAN: Miami holds a 33-24 all-time lead against Western Michigan. The Broncos have won both meetings against the RedHawks this season, however. In the MAC opener in Oxford on Jan. 4, WMU turned an early deficit into an 88-78 win. Senior guard Hannah Robertson led four Miami players in double figures with 18 points, while freshman guard Jillian Spurlock had 16. Michelle O’Brien led Western Michigan with 22 points. On Jan. 22 in Kalamazoo, Miami trailed the majority of the way, but a three-pointer at the buzzer by Hannah Robertson forced overtime. Unfortunately for Miami, it ran out of gas in the extra session as the Broncos pulled away for an 86-75 victory. Spurlock led the RedHawks with a career-high 22 points, while Woods had 31 for WMU.
UP NEXT FOR THE REDHAWKS: Miami will have to win this game to keep its season going. If the RedHawks defeat the Broncos, they will head to Cleveland and Quicken Loans Arena for the remainder of the MAC Tournament. Next up would be a second round match against the winner of Monday’s game between sixth seed Toledo and 11th seed Ohio. That game would take place Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.