ATHENS, Ohio – The Miami University women’s basketball team could not overcome a slow start in a 97-79 setback against Ohio on Thursday in a foul-filled contest. The RedHawks fall to 4-9 overall and 0-2 in the Mid-American Conference. The Bobcats improve to 6-7 overall and 1-1 in the MAC.

Despite the setback, it was a breakout game for freshman guard Jillian Spurlock. She finished with a career-high 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting. She nearly made it a double-double with a career-high eight rebounds. She also had an assist and a steal in 23 minutes of action.

The Bobcats were able to force 25 turnovers, mostly early in the contest. They turned those turnovers into 33 points, which proved to be the difference. Ohio also had a strong day from behind the arc, hitting 13 three-point baskets.

Both teams had plenty of opportunities from the line as a total of 57 fouls were called. The RedHawks shot 76.3 percent from the charity stripe for the contest, finishing 29-for-38. Senior guard Haley Robertson was a perfect 6-for-6, while senior guard Hannah Robertson was 5-for-5.

Miami had several good looks to begin the game, but was unable to finish. OU took advantage to build a 9-0 lead. A layup from sophomore guard Hannah McCue ended the drought, but the Bobcats answered with a 9-2 run to take an 18-4 advantage with 12:52 remaining in the half.

The RedHawks began to take Ohio players off the dribble, forcing them to foul. Miami converted on its free throws to begin to pull closer. Each time the Red and White was able to get the lead down to single digits, the Bobcats answered with a timely three-point basket to push the advantage back to 10. Four free throws by Spurlock made it 33-24 at the 4:42 mark, but another Ohio three-pointer started a 16-4 run that gave the Bobcats a 49-28 lead with 1:45 to go.

Haley Robertson ended the run with a layup. After a free throw from junior guard Courtney Larson, back-to-back layups by Spurlock cut the deficit to 16 points. Kat Yelle drained a three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining to send Ohio into the break in front, 54-35.

Miami shot 11-for-21 (52.4 percent) during the first half. It was led Hannah Robertson and Spurlock with nine points apiece. Ohio forced 15 RedHawk turnovers and was 10-for-23 (43.5 percent) from behind the arc during the period.

Hannah Robertson and Larson each hit three-pointers early in the second half, but the lead remained around 20 points during the first 10 points. The Bobcats eventually built their largest advantage at 83-59 with 8:14 to go. Junior guard Kindsay Brandt hit a pair of free throws to get the Miami offense going. Jumpers by Spurlock and senior center Kelsey Simon, followed by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Maddie McCallie were part of an 11-4 run that made it 87-70 with 5:11 remaining.

Trailing 91-71, McCue hit a layup to start one final Miami run. Spurlock hit a three-pointer and followed with a jumper to make it a 15-point game at 93-78 with 1:42 to go, but time ran out as the Bobcats finished off the 97-79 win.

In addition to Spurlock’s 20 points, Hannah Robertson finished with 14, Haley Robertson with 12 and Larson had 11. The RedHawks shot 23-for-47 (48.9 percent) for the game and outrebounded Ohio, 41-29. The Bobcats were led by Quiera Lampkins with 24 points.

Miami looks to get back on the winning track when it heads to Toledo on Sunday for a 2 p.m. contest. Tim Bray has the call and it can be heard live on WMOH, as well as Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.