OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University women’s basketball team put forth a great effort against Mid-American Conference leading Bowling Green Wednesday afternoon, but the Falcons pulled away late for a 73-56 victory. The RedHawks fall to 7-21 overall and 3-14 in the MAC. BGSU improves to 26-3 overall and 16-1 in the MAC.
The defense kept the Falcons, who are receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Top 25 polls, off balance all afternoon. Miami held Bowling Green to 35.6 percent (21-for-59) shooting for the game and 27.0 percent (10-for-37) from behind the arc.
Senior guard Hannah Robertson had another strong game for the RedHawks, leading the way with 19 points. She was 9-for-14 from the field, and also recorded six rebounds, two blocks, one assist and one steal in 32 minutes of action. That was despite being in foul trouble for the majority of the second half.
It was a slow start for both teams as neither team could score for the first two minutes. Junior guard Courtney Larson broke the ice, draining a three-pointer from the right wing. Miami kept the Falcons without a field goal until the 14:20 mark, when a layup by Alexis Rogers cut the RedHawk lead to 4-3.
Miami continued to hold the Bowling Green offense at bay, as jumpers by freshman guard Jillian Spurlock and sophomore forward Jessica Rupright were part of an 8-0 run that gave the ‘Hawks a 12-3 lead with 11:08 left in the half. Layups by senior forward Erica Almady and Hannah Robertson gave MU a 16-8 advantage at the 8:57 mark.
The Falcons finally were able to get their offense on track as an 8-0 run tied the score at 16 with 6:25 left. Miami fought back as a pair of jumpers from Hannah Robertson put it back in front by four. Freshman forward Nicole Anderson and Rupright each hit layups to give the ‘Hawks a 24-22 lead, but Bowling Green closed the half on an 8-0 run to take a 30-24 lead into the break.
Both team shot 9-for-32 (28.1 percent) for the first half. The Falcons were 5-for-21 (23.8 percent) from behind the arc, while Miami was 1-for-13 (7.7 percent). Hannah Robertson led the RedHawks with six points, while Miami held a 26-20 rebounding advantage for the period.
Bowling Green pushed the advantage to nine points at 38-29 early in the second half. A three-pointer from sophomore forward Hannah McCue, followed by a jumper from Hannah Robertson cut the deficit to four at 38-34 with 15:54 to go. While Rupright made some athletic moves down low to get a pair of layups, the Falcons went on a 16-7 run to build a 54-41 advantage at the 8:24 mark.
A three-pointer from junior guard Kindsay Brandt, followed by a free throw from Brandt a minute later made it a nine point game at 54-45 with 5:57 to go. BGSU made some free throws to push the lead back to 14. Hannah Robertson drained a three-pointer at the 3:23 mark to make it 61-50, but Miami was unable to get any closer as the Falcons finished off the 73-56 win.
Miami shot much better in the second half, finishing 13-for-32 (40.6 percent). In addition to Hannah Robertson’s 19 points, Rupright finished with eight, while Brandt had six points and five rebounds. Anderson and McCue led the way with eight rebounds apiece for the RedHawks, who outrebounded Bowling Green, 47-35, for the game. Miami finished with 19 offensive boards.
The RedHawks complete the regular season on Saturday when they host Ohio for the Battle of the Bricks at 2:30 p.m. It is part of a doubleheader that will see the men’s basketball team also take on the Bobcats at noon. It is also Senior Day for Miami, and there will be a pregame ceremony honoring Almady, Kristin Judson, Hannah Robertson, Haley Robertson and Kelsey Simon for all their accomplishments the past four years.