OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University women’s basketball team’s new era got off to a successful start on Saturday with a 71-54 exhibition win over Seton Hill. The game marked the debut of new head coach Cleve Wright.
Freshmen guard Jillian Spurlock led three players in double figures with 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting. Sophomore forward Jessica Rupright had 11 points, while junior guard Kindsay Brandt had 10 points and a team-high six assists.
After spotting the Griffins an opening three-pointer, Miami responded with a 15-0 run over the next five minutes. A pair of three-pointers from Brandt and a jumper by freshman forward Nicole Anderson got Miami on the board, while senior guard Haley Robertson also contributed with a three-point basket. A pair of layups from Anderson, along with jumpers from junior guard Courtney Larson and senior forward Kelsey Simon helped to increase the advantage to 25-6 with 9:18 remaining in the period.
The Griffins responded with a 7-0 run to pull within 12. Spurlock answered with a pair of jumpers, while redshirt freshman Tamira Ford hit her first career jumper to make it a 33-15 game at the 4:38 mark. Seton Hill closed the half on a 15-2 run to make it a 35-30 Miami lead going into the break.
Anderson, Brandt and Spurlock led the RedHawks with six points apiece during the first half. Miami shot 50 percent (14-for-28) during the frame, while holding the Griffins to 33.3 percent (9-for-27) shooting.
Seton Hill eventually pulled to within three at 41-38 with 15:22 remaining in the second half. With the RedHawks back up by four, back-to-back layups from sophomore forward Hannah McCue and Rupright made it 48-40 at the 12:16 mark. The Griffins answered with a 5-2 run to pull within five at 50-45 with 8:47 remaining.
Rupright hit back-to-back jumpers to begin a 10-3 run that put the RedHawks up, 60-48, with 4:04 to go. After the Griffins responded with a three-pointer, a pair of free throws from Larson and Brandt, along with a steal and layup by Brandt sealed the contest. Miami hit its shots from the charity stripe down the stretch to finish off a 71-54 victory.
The RedHawks finished the game 27-for-57 (47.4 percent) from the field. They held Seton Hill to 31.3 percent (15-for-48) shooting. Miami outrebounded the Griffins, 41-29, with Anderson and Larson leading the ‘Hawks with six rebounds apiece.
Miami opens the regular season on Friday when it hosts Eastern Kentucky for a special noon tip. For $6 fans can enjoy a lunch of sandwiches and soup on the Millett Hall concourse, beginning at 11 a.m. The price includes a ticket to the contest. For those who cannot be in attendance, it will be broadcast live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.