OXFORD, Ohio - A wild offensive shootout saw Akron pull away in the final three minutes as it took an 84-77 victory over the Miami University women's basketball team Saturday afternoon. The RedHawks fall to 14-9 overall and 6-4 in the Mid-American Conference. The Zips improve to 16-7 overall and 7-3 in the MAC.
Erica Almady had a career game as her teammates continued to find her down low. She finished with a career-high 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting. She was one of four players in double figures as Courtney Osborn had 18 points, Kirsten Olowinski contributed 14 points and Haley Robertson finished with 13 points.
For Osborn, her 18 points give her 1,957 for her career. She needs 23 more to break Amanda Jackson's (2003-08) Miami scoring record of 1,979 points.
The RedHawks were on the attack right from the start as jumpers from Haley Robertson, Olowinski and Almady gave them a quick, 6-0, lead. The Zips fought back, tying the score at 12 with 13:13 remaining in the period. Osborn and Almady would then follow with a pair of jumpers to spark Miami on an 8-1 run that gave it a 20-13 lead with 7:47 to go.
Akron's ability to hit timely three-point baskets kept it in the contest throughout the game. A pair of baskets from downtown started a 17-9 run that put the Zips up for the first time, 30-29 at the 2:26 mark. Haley Robertson immediately followed with a three-pointer to give the lead back to the 'Hawks, but a 7-0 run to close the half sent Akron into the break in front, 37-32.
Miami shot 45.2 percent (14-for-31) during the first half, but Akron was able to top that with a 50 percent (13-for-26) shooting rate. The Zips also hit five shots from behind the arc, which helped them overcome a 21-9 rebounding deficit.
Hannah Robertson opened the second half with a three-pointer that cut the Akron lead to two. The lead fluctuated between two and six points over the next seven minutes as the teams continued to trade baskets. Following a pair of layups from Rachel Tecca and a couple of free throws from Sina King, the Zips took a 55-49 advantage with 12:07 to go in the game.
A jumper, followed by a three-pointer from Osborn made it a one point game at 55-54 at the 11:04 mark. Akron answered with a 5-2 run to go back in front 60-56, but back-to-back jumpers from Osborn and Almady would finally tie the score at 60. The teams would trade baskets once again over the next three and a half minutes until a jumper from Haley Robertson tied the score at 68 with 5:46 to go.
Hannah Robertson made a free throw at the 4:45 mark to put the 'Hawks in front for the first time in the second half at 69-68. Tecca and King responded with baskets that put Akron back up by three. A layup from Almady made it a one-point game at 72-71 with 3:28 to go, but a key 5-0 run by the Zips gave them a 77-71 advantage at the 2:40 mark.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Olowinski cut the deficit to three with 2:18 remaining. Hannah Robertson then have a great chance to cut into the lead even further after she got a steal, but Hanna Luburgh recovered nicely to get a block and secure the ball back for Akron. The Zips would then hit their free throws down the stretch to finish off the 84-77 win.
Miami finished the game shooting 50 percent (31-for-62) compared to 46.7 percent (28-for-60) shooting for Akron. The Zips found a lot of their success at the free throw line, going 21-for-23 (91.3 percent) from the charity stripe. Tecca was strong all night for Akron, finishing with 29 points and 11 assists. The RedHawks ended up winning the rebound battle, 35-31.
Miami returns to action next Saturday when it hosts Central Michigan at 1 p.m. That game is part of a doubleheader that will see the men's basketball team take on Buffalo at 3:30 p.m. Both games will be available on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.