OXFORD, Ohio - Courtney Osborn's 20 points helped push the Miami University women's basketball team past Northern Kentucky, 63-52, Monday night in the team's home opener at Millett Hall. The RedHawks improved to 1-1, while the Norse dropped to 0-2.
Leading 53-50 with 4:54 left to play, Osborn scored 10 points in the final five minutes, as the hosts finished the game on a 10-2 run.
The senior point guard, who played a game-high 38 minutes, converted an and-1 layup to make it 56-50 with 1:55 remaining, while Kristin Judson pushed the lead to eight on another drive 25 seconds later. Osborn hit 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
"When we are in crunch time, I am confident because I know I have a lot of offensive players out there," MU coach Maria Fantanarosa said. "Courtney, she's competitive and she finds a way (to win)."
Osborn was 4-of-10 shooting and finished 12-of-14 from the charity stripe. She also added nine assists and two steals.
The RedHawks held the Norse to 32.2-percent shooting (19-59) and 27.3 percent from beyond the arc (6-22). MU finished with nine steals and six blocks.
"We are starting to play better team defense as we are starting to get more confident in each other," Fantanarosa said.
Miami outrebounded Northern Kentucky 40-31, including 28-17 on the defensive end, and held the Norse to no points on the fast break.
But while the Miami defense was solid, the offense sputtered throughout the game, aside from the final minutes, turning the ball over 23 times.
"We had times where we came out and were a little flat," Kirsten Olowinski said. "but I think we all found a way to respond and I think that really showed in the second half, especially compared to the first. We came out and realized what we needed to do."
Fantanarosa added, "We are just going to have to be patient and trust that the offense is going to come along."
The RedHawks, which led 31-28 at halftime, shot 43.5 percent from the field (20-46) and were 27.8 percent from downtown (5-18).
Freshman guard Maddie McCallie, scored the first points of her career, nailing back to back three-pointers to put Miami up 13-5 at the 13:15 mark of the first half. McCallie was 4-of-7 from deep, finishing with 15 points.
Olowinski led the team inside with a game-high nine rebounds with 12 points.
Judson scored seven points and tallied four rebounds, while freshman forward Hannah McCue finished with five points, five rebounds and two blocks.
Miami continues its four-game home stand Thursday night, as it hosts Robert Morris at 7 p.m.