OXFORD, Ohio – A spirited comeback from a 15-point deficit led to two attempts at 3-pointers to tie the score, but the Miami University women’s basketball team’s shot went cold in the final four minutes as Western Michigan took an 88-78 victory in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams on Saturday. The RedHawks fall to 4-8 overall and 0-1 in the MAC, while the Broncos improve to 5-7 overall and 1-0 in the MAC.
Senior guard Hannah Robertson had a strong game for Miami, leading four players in double figures with 18 points. She also had nine rebounds four assists and two steals in 33 minutes of action.
Western Michigan was hot from the field the entire game, finishing 28-for-52 (53.8 percent) from the field. It was helped by 31 RedHawk fouls, which it converted into 26-for-40 (65.0 percent) free throw shooting. MU finished the game 28-for-64 (43.8 percent) from the field and 17-for-22 (77.3 percent) from the free throw line.
The Robertson twins got Miami off to a great start right off the tip. An opening jumper by Hannah Robertson was followed by finding her sister, senior guard Haley Robertson for a three-point bucket to give the RedHawks a 5-0 lead. Hannah Robertson then hit another jumper to make it 7-0 and force WMU to call timeout only 55 seconds into the game.
The Broncos fought back to within one at 9-8, but the RedHawk offense continued to shine early. Back-to-back layups from senior forward Erica Almady and junior guard Kindsay Brandt made it 13-8 at the 13:18 mark. Haley Robertson also hit a jumper to give the ‘Hawks a 15-11 advantage, but Miami’s offense went cold as Western Michigan went on a 9-3 run to take its first lead at 20-18 with 9:50 to go in the half.
The Broncos eventually pushed the advantage to seven at 31-24, but a jumper from freshman guard Jillian Spurlock, along with five straight points from Hannah Robertson were part of a 11-7 run that made it 39-35 with 2:46 to go. WMU used a transition attack to close the half on a 12-2 run and take a 51-37 lead into the break.
The Broncos shot 17-for-31 (54.8 percent) in the first half, including 4-for-8 (50.0 percent) from behind the arc. Miami shot 14-for-32 (43.8 percent) in the period, and was led by Hannah Robertson and Spurlock with nine and eight points respectively.
Hannah Robertson had a three-pointer, while senior center Kelsey Simon had a pair of layups to help the Red and White close to within seven at 57-50 with 15:43 remaining in the game. The Broncos answered with a 13-5 run to create their largest lead at 70-55 at the 9:42 mark. But Miami had one more comeback left in it.
Spurlock started the RedHawk comeback attempt with a jumper. After free throws from Brandt and freshman forward Nicole Anderson, an old-fashioned three-point play by Hannah Robertson made it 73-64 with 7:19 to go. A layup by Simon cut the deficit to seven before WMU hit a free throw to make it 74-66 at the 6:42 mark.
Brandt hit a layup on Miami’s next possession and was fouled. She converted the free throw to pull the ‘Hawks to within seven. Brandt followed with another layup and a three-pointer to make it a three-point game at 77-74 with 4:44 to go. After forcing the Broncos to miss their next shot, Anderson and Hannah Robertson each had great looks at a tying three-pointer. Both times the shot just rimmed out. WMU grabbed the rebound and scored a bucket on the other end to change the momentum. Miami’s shot went cold from there, allowing the Broncos to finish the game on an 11-4 run to secure an 88-78 win.
In addition to Hannah Robertson’s 18 points, Spurlock finished with a career-high 16 points. She was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Brandt finished with 13 points, while Simon contributed 12. Western Michigan was led by Michelle O’Brien with 22 points. Miami outrebounded WMU, 37-36, for the game.
The RedHawks return to action on Thursday when they travel to Ohio for a 7 p.m. contest. Tim Bray has the call and it can be heard live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription. It will be joined in-progress on WMOH at the conclusion of ’s HawkTalk.