AKRON, Ohio - Plagued by foul trouble all game, the Miami University women's basketball team fought valiantly until the end, but a 13-2 run by Akron over the final 3:23 of the contest finished a 71-65 victory for the Zips Sunday afternoon. The RedHawks fall to 17-11 overall and 9-6 in the Mid-American Conference. Akron improves to 20-8 overall and 11-4 in the MAC.
Courtney Osborn had another strong game for the 'Hawks before she fouled out late, finishing with 23 points on 10-for-22 shooting. She moved in ninth place on the MAC all-time scoring list with 2,068 career points.
Kirsten Olowinski helped make up for the absence of Erica Almady (injury) with her 40th career double-double. She had 17 points and 16 rebounds, recording a majority of her points on rebound put backs.
The game was fast paced from the start as the teams traded baskets over the first four minutes. A three-pointer by Osborn tied the score at nine. Olowinski was found down low for a pair of layups that helped tie the score at 13 with 13:20 remaining in the half.
The Zips went on a 7-0 run to take a 20-13 lead. After a Kelsey Simon free throw stopped the bleeding, an Osborn three-point play cut the deficit to three. Akron would push the advantage to its biggest margin of 10 points at 35-25 at the 3:02 mark.
Five straight points from Olowinski started an 8-0 run that pulled the 'Hawks to within two. Akron answered with a layup from Rachel Tecca to send the Zips into the break in front, 37-33.
Miami was led by Osborn's 15 points in the first half, shooting 46.7 percent (14-for-30). The RedHawks held Akron 41.9 percent shooting (13-31) during the period.
A rebound put back from Olowinski and a jumper from Osborn to begin the second half tied the score at 37. The teams traded buckets until back-to-back jumpers from Haley and Hannah Robertson gave Miami its first lead of the contest at 43-41 with 15:37 to go. The 'Hawks held that advantage until a pair of Tecca free throws made it 51-49 Zips at the 10:18 mark.
A 6-0 run by the Red and White made it 55-51 with 6:07 to go. Miami had held Akron in check from behind the arc for most of the game, but a key three-pointer from Hanna Luburgh made it 57-56, Hannah and Haley Robertson hit back-to-back jumpers to give the 'Hawks their largest lead at 61-56. The teams followed by trading layups, but on the next possession, Osborn picked up her fifth foul with 3:23 to go.
Tecca hit a couple of free throws to cut the deficit to three immediately after Osborn exited. Akron scored the next seven points in a row, finished by another Luburgh three-pointer to make it 67-63 with 1:01 to go. Hannah McCue would answer with a pair of free throws to cut the lead to two points, but the Zips would keep Miami off the scoreboard the rest of the way to finish off the 71-65 win.
Miami shot 45.3 percent (29-for-64) for the game, while holding the Zips to 35.1 percent shooting (20-for-57). That included keeping Akron at 15.4 percent (4-for-26) from behind the arc. The difference came at the line, as 24 RedHawk fouls translated to 32 Zip free throw attempts. Akron made 27 from the charity stripe, while Miami finished only 6-for-11. Tecca finished with 32 points for the Zips, while the 'Hawks outrebounded Akron, 40-36, for the game.
With the loss, Miami will now host a first round MAC Tournament game on Saturday, March 9 at 2 p.m. Before that, the RedHawks will complete the regular season on Wednesday when they travel to Ohio for a 7 p.m. contest. Tim Bray will have the call and it can be heard on WMOH as well as Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.