OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University women's basketball seniors Courtney Osborn and Kirsten Olowinski helped lead the RedHawks to a dominating 73-39 victory over Kent State on Senior Night at Millett Hall. With their third straight victory, the RedHawks improve to 17-10 overall and 9-5 in the Mid-American Conference. The Golden Flashes fall to 3-24 overall and 1-13 in the MAC.
Osborn scored a game-high 17 points Thursday, while Olowinski had 10 points and nine rebounds. Both seniors were honored during a pregame ceremony.
"Senior Night was dominated by our seniors!" MU coach Maria Fantanarosa said after the game. "When teams are led by seniors with character, good things happen."
Fantanarosa continued, "Tonight having a game where everyone contributes, you still can't take the focus off Courtney and Kirsten. They are keeping everyone involved and it's making us a confident team."
It was an emotional night for both Osborn and Olowinski. No tears were shed, but it was a game they will never forget.
"You play four years somewhere and you give you heart and your soul," Osborn said. "I've been surrounded by great teammates and coaches. It's a lot to take in, but we know that while this may be our last game at Millett, we're not done yet and we have a long way to go."
Miami still has a chance earn a top-4 finish in the conference and a double-bye in the MAC Tournament. But for that to happen, the 'Hawks must win their final two regular-season games at East Division frontrunner Akron (19-8, 10-4 MAC) on Sunday, March 3 and at rival Ohio (6-20, 1-13) on Wednesday, March 6, along with having the tiebreakers fall their way.
"We know how important these (final) games are and tonight we came out and did what we had to do," Osborn said. "Now we turn to Akron."
The RedHawks are currently tied for second place in the East with Bowling Green. Toledo leads the West Division, while Ball State and Central Michigan are second and third, respectively.
MU defeated the Bobcats at home, 78-56, on Jan. 17, but fell to the Zips at home, 84-77, on Feb. 9.
The first round of the MAC Tournament begins Saturday, March 9. The tournament's first-round games will be hosted at the high seed's campus sites. Later rounds will be held at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena, home of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.
The RedHawks started slow Thursday, as they trailed 13-9 with 13:13 left in the first half. But that changed quickly.
Miami reeled off 15 straight points, as Maddie McCallie hit a three and Kelsey Simon made a layup to spark the run. Osborn then hit back-to-back threes and buckets by Olowinski and Hannah Robertson pushed the hosts lead to 24-13 with 7:19 left in the half.
The RedHawks, which led 38-20 at halftime, finished the first 20 minutes on a 29-7 run.
Miami's momentum continued after the break, as it scored the first 14 points of the second half.
Kent State, which shot 28.8 percent from the field, was held without a field goal from the 4:49 mark of the first half to the 13:24 mark of the second.
The RedHawks tied the school record for most blocks in a game with 10 and forced 14 turnovers. MU also outrebounded the Golden Flashes, 32-24.
Olowinski's nine boards moved her into third place on the MAC's all-time rebounding list. She now has 1,092 career rebounds.
Osborn, who finished with four threes against Kent State, moved up to fourth place on the MAC's all-time three-point record list with 284.
MU had its best shooting night of the season, as it finished 66 percent from the field (31-of-47) and 50 percent from downtown (8-of-16).
Both of the RedHawks final regular-season games can be heard live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.