KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Miami University women’s basketball team cut a 20-point deficit to seven points late in the second half, but was unable to complete the comeback as it fell to Western Michigan, 82-72, in a Mid-American Conference First Round game Monday night. The RedHawks finish their season at 8-22, while the Broncos advance to the second round and improve to 13-17.
Freshman forward Nicole Anderson had a fine cap to a strong rookie campaign, leading Miami with 18 points. She was 7-for-10 from the field and 2-for-4 from the three-point line. She tied for team lead with six rebounds, and also had an assist and a steal in 28 minutes of action.
The seniors also went out on a positive note. In her final game, senior guard Hannah Robertson finished with 15 points. She also had two assists, two steals and a block in 36 minutes of action. Senior forward Kelsey Simon also had a strong game, scoring 11 points and bringing in six rebounds. Senior guard Haley Robertson and senior forward Erica Almady each contributed valuable minutes off the bench, finishing with six and four points respectively. Senior forward Kristin Judson was unable to play in the contest due to injury.
Both teams showed tournament nerves during the first few minutes of the contest. Hannah Robertson and Anderson each hit jumpers, but the score was tied at just 4-4, four minutes into the game. Alex Morton answered with back-to-back three-pointers for Western Michigan that got both offenses going. Junior point guard Kindsay Brandt hit a three-pointer of her own, while layups from sophomore forward Hannah McCue and Hannah Robertson cut WMU’s lead to one at 14-13 with 12:20 remaining in the first half.
The Broncos went on a 16-5 run over the next eight minutes to build a 33-18 advantage. Hannah Robertson stopped the bleeding with a three-pointer, but the Broncos eventually pushed the lead to 17 at 42-25. Simon and Anderson each hit shots in the final minute, while WMU scored a basket at the buzzer to take a 44-29 lead into halftime.
Miami shot 36.4 percent (12-for-33) during the first half, while the Broncos were at 41.2 percent (14-for-34). Hannah Robertson led the RedHawks with eight points.
Freshman guard Jillian Spurlock drained a pair of buckets, while Simon and Hannah Robertson each scored for Miami, but Western Michigan went on a 19-14 run over the first 11 minutes of the second half to build its largest lead at 63-43. The score stood at 64-44 at the 7:23 mark before the ‘Hawks began their comeback attempt.
Simon began the Miami run with a jumper followed by a free throw. Anderson scored eight straight points for the Red and White when she drained a pair of three-pointers and a jumper. The second triple cut the deficit to 11 at 66-55 with 5:26 to go.
With WMU in front 68-57, Brandt stole the ball and drove in for the layup to cut the Bronco lead into single digits. On the next possession, Anderson drained a jumper to make it 68-61 with 3:38 left. That would be as close as Miami could get, as Western Michigan answered with six straight points to bring the lead back into double digits. The Broncos hit their free throws down the stretch to secure the 82-72 win.
The RedHawks finished the game shooting 42.0 percent (29-for-69) from the field and 38.9 percent (7-for-18) from behind the arc. WMU shot 47.2 percent (25-for-53) from the field and 27.8 percent (5-for-18) from three-point range. The difference came in the free throws where Western Michigan finished 27-for-33 (81.8 percent), while Miami was 7-for-15 (46.7 percent). The Broncos held a 42-33 rebounding advantage for the game.