OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami University women's basketball team is looking for its first win after a heartbreaking overtime loss to Eastern Kentucky in the opener Friday. The RedHawks will take the floor at Millett for the first time in regular season as they welcome brand new Division I member Norther Kentucky to Oxford Monday night at 7 p.m. Tim Bray will have the call and it can be heard live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.
REDHAWKS IN HOME OPENERS: This is the the 39th season of women's basketball at Miami. The RedHawks have been good in their previous 38 home openers, sporting a 22-16 record. In home openers that were not the first game of the season, Miami is 13-10. Under head coach Maria Fantanarosa, the team is 9-5 in its first game at Millett. Last season, the RedHawks cruised to an 81-56 victory over Massachusetts to begin the home portion of the schedule. Courtney Osborn led Miami with 25 points in that game.
FRESHMEN DEBUTS: Three of Miami's four freshmen made their debuts on Friday with only Tamira Ford missing it due to injury. Hannah McCue performed well off the bench, recording six points and bringing in three rebounds in 24 minutes of action. Jessica Rupright scored two points and had two rebounds in nine minutes, while Maddie McCallie recorded one rebound in eight minutes.
ABOUT THE NORSE: Northern Kentucky dropped its Division I debut to Cincinnati, 49-31, on the road Friday. A longtime Division II power, the Norse are beginning a five-year transition period to the Division I level this season as members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. Last season they went 21-7 and made it to the First Round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. NKU is under the direction of first-year head coach Dawn Plitzuweit, and returns two starters from last season's team. It's top returner is senior center Ellen Holton, who averaged 10.7 points per game last season.
SERIES WITH NORTHERN KENTUCKY: NKU leads the all-time series with Miami, 6-4. The teams have not met since the 1982 season however. In the early days of women's college basketball since the teams were so close by, they played each other often. When the NCAA took over administration of the women's game, the divisional alignment also came into play so with Miami in Division I and Northern Kentucky in Division II, the schools ended the series. With the Norse joining Division I this season, the RedHawks are now able to resume the rivalry. Miami won the last meeting between the schools, 81-65, on February 17, 1982. Kris Livingston and Tonia Stubbs each had 12 points to lead the Red and White in that game.
MIAMI VS. ATLANTIC SUN: The Atlantic Sun is made up of 11 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 10 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 Campbell, East Tennessee State, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Mercer, North Florida or South Carolina-Upstate.
UP NEXT FOR THE REDHAWKS: Miami continues its four-game homestand when it welcomes Robert Morris on Thursday at 7 p.m. Tim Bray has the call and it will be seen live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.