BUFFALO, N.Y. – On a night where the ball would not fall into the basket, the Miami University women’s basketball team made a furious comeback to tie the score with 13 seconds remaining. But Buffalo was able to hit a layup with 4.7 seconds left to take a 58-56 win on Thursday night. The RedHawks fall to 6-13 overall and 2-6 in the Mid-American Conference. The Bulls improve to 12-7 overall and 5-3 in the MAC.
Miami had an off night from the field, finishing 16-for-63 (25.4 percent) from the field, including shooting 5-for-19 (26.3 percent) from behind the arc. Despite that, a strong defensive effort led to a 16-4 run in the final four minutes that tied the score at 56 with 13 seconds left. Freshman guard Jillian Spurlock was a big part of the comeback, leading the ‘Hawks with 13 points. She scored all of her points in the second half.
Offensively the first half was a struggle for the RedHawks as they shot 5-for-29 (17.2 percent), including 3-for-12 (25.0 percent) from behind the three-point line. It took nearly three minutes for either team to score before freshman forward Nicole Anderson put the ‘Hawks on the board with a triple. After a pair of three-pointers by Buffalo, sophomore forward Hannah McCue hit one of her own to tie the score at six. A Bull three by Margeaux Gupilan with 13:13 left in the half made it 12-6 in favor of UB.
Sophomore forward Jessica Rupright drained a three-pointer with 12:55 remaining to cut the Miami deficit to three points. However the RedHawk shot went cold as a 7-0 run by Buffalo over the next seven-plus minutes made it 19-9 at the 5:16 mark.
A layup from Anderson finally got the Miami offense going. Sophomore guard Maddie McCallie drained three free throws after being fouled on a triple attempt, while junior guard Courtney Larson hit two free throws of her own to cut the lead to three at 19-16. McCue hit a layup down the stretch, but the Bulls closed the half on an 11-4 run to take a 30-20 lead into the break. Gupilan hit an off-balanced three-pointer at the buzzer to give Buffalo its 10-point advantage, her sixth triple of the half.
Layups by senior guard Hannah Robertson and Spurlock to begin the second half pulled the ‘Hawks to within six at 30-24. Spurlock followed with another jumper to make it a four-point game with 16:06 to go. After a 5-0 run by the Bulls, a three-pointer from Rupright and a layup by senior guard Haley Robertson made it 35-31 at the 13:08 mark.
Spurlock hit a couple of jumpers, while the RedHawks hit their free throws, but Buffalo went on a 17-9 run over the next nine minutes to give the Bulls their largest lead at 52-40 with 4:24 to go before Miami began its comeback attempt.
Three free throws and a jumper by Spurlock made it 54-47 at the 2:22 mark. On UB’s next possession Hannah Robertson forced the steal and hit the layup to make it a five-point game. Senior forward Erica Almady was fouled down low the next time down for the RedHawks, and she calmly drained both free throws to cut the deficit to three. Buffalo responded with a layup, but Spurlock found Nicole Anderson in the corner for a triple that made it 56-54 with 58 seconds to go.
Anderson forced a steal on the Bulls next possession and passed the ball to Hannah Robertson. She missed the layup, but the ball went off a Buffalo player giving the ‘Hawks another chance. This time Hannah Robertson was fouled on the shot. She hit both free throws to tie the score at 56.
The Bulls did not call timeout after the free throws and drove down for their final play. Karin Moss was able to find a lane to the basket and laid it in with 4.7 seconds to go. Miami drove the ball the length of the court looking for an answer, but its last gasp shot came up just short.
In addition to Spurlock’s 13 points, Hannah Robertson was also in double-figures with 10. Anderson just missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. As a team, the RedHawks finished with 53 rebounds, including 22 offensive.
Miami forced 20 Buffalo turnovers in the contest. Gupilan did not hit another three-pointer in the second half, but still led the Bulls with 20 points. The RedHawks held UB to 22-for-62 (35.5 percent) shooting, including 8-for-29 (27.6 percent) from behind the arc.
Miami returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Ypsilanti to take on Eastern Michigan at 2 p.m. Tim Bray has the call, and it can be heard live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.