OXFORD, Ohio – Senior center Kelsey Simon helped the Miami University women’s basketball team recover from a slow start offensively to down Kent State, 72-62, Saturday afternoon at Millett Hall. The RedHawks improve to 6-12 overall and 2-5 in the Mid-American Conference. The Golden Flashes fall to 3-15 overall and 0-7 in the MAC.
Simon earned her second career double-double on Saturday. She tied a career-high with 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting. She also set a new career-high with 12 rebounds, including six offensive caroms. Simon had 12 of her points and eight of her rebounds in the second half.
Two freshmen also proved to be stars for the Red and White in the victory. Freshman forward Nicole Anderson scored 14 points and brought in six rebounds. Making her first career start, freshman guard Jillian Spurlock finished with 13 points and a career-high nine rebounds in 31 minutes of action.
The RedHawks were unable to score during the first five minutes of the contest. Despite that, the defense held strong, allowing Kent State only four points. A free throw by junior guard Kindsay Brandt broke the drought, while a three-pointer from senior guard Hannah Robertson quickly tied the score at four with 13:35 left in the half.
Tied at 10, Spurlock put Miami ahead with a three off a nice assist by senior guard Haley Robertson. The Golden Flashes scored four straight to regain the lead, but Anderson quickly got it back for the ‘Hawks with a jumper down low. MU would not fall behind again.
A jumper from Anderson and a layup by Simon helped push the RedHawk advantage to seven at 24-17 with 3:38 left in the half. Kent State answered with a 6-0 run to close to within one, but back-to-back jumpers from sophomore forward Hannah McCue and Simon got Miami back on track. Junior guard Courtney Larson hit a three-pointer with four seconds to go to send the ‘Hawks into the break in front, 33-26.
The RedHawks shot 40.7 percent (11-for-27) during the first half, while holding Kent State to 32.3 percent (10-for-31) shooting. Anderson led the way with nine points, while Spurlock had five points and nine rebounds in the period.
Simon went to work down low to begin the second half, hitting a pair of layups to help give Miami a 40-33 lead. Haley Robertson followed with a three-pointer that made it a 10-point game at 43-33 with 16:14 to go. The Golden Flashes responded with a 7-2 run that cut the deficit to five at 45-40 at the 11:40 mark.
A three-pointer by Jessica Rupright started the RedHawk run that would put the game away. McCue followed with her own three-pointer, while a pair of layups by Simon and one from Spurlock were part of a 16-1 run that gave the ‘Hawks their largest lead at 61-41 with 7:15 remaining. Miami was able to put it in cruise control from there, holding on for a 72-62 win.
The RedHawks finished the game shooting 40.0 percent (22-for-55), while thanks to a late run of made shots, Kent State finished the game at 41.1 percent (23-for-56). McCue had a solid game for Miami, finishing with six points and eight rebounds. Haley Robertson and Spurlock led the ‘Hawks with four assists apiece. Miami had a 44-31 rebounding advantage for the game against the Golden Flashes, including 17 offensive caroms.
The RedHawks begin a tough stretch where they play six of their next eight contests on the road. It starts on Thursday when they travel to Buffalo for a 7 p.m. game. Bill Douglas has the call and it can be heard live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.