OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami University women's basketball team looks to rebound when it hosts high-scoring Akron on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The game is part of a doubleheader that will see the men's basketball team also take on the Zips at 1 p.m. on ESPNU. Tim Bray will have the call of the women's game, and it can be seen on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription. The audio call will also be broadcast on WMOH.
OSBORN SCORING COUNTDOWN: Senior guard Courtney Osborn scored 21 points in her last game against Toledo (Feb. 6) and now has 1,939 for her career. She is second all-time on the RedHawks' career scoring list, and needs 41 points to break the Miami all-time scoring record of 1,979 points set by Amanda Jackson (2003-08).
BATTLE FOR TOP FOUR: Finishing in the top four in the Mid-American Conference standings is important because it awards teams byes straight to Cleveland in the upcoming MAC Tournament (Mar. 9-16). The top two seeds receive a triple bye straight to the semifinal round, while the third and fourth seeds receive byes to the quarterfinal round. The fifth through 12 seeds have to play two extra games, including one at campus sites before the rest of the teams even begin participating in the tournament. At this point seven teams appear to be in contention for those valuable four spots. Ball State and Toledo lead the way at 8-1, Central Michigan is 7-2, Miami, Bowling Green and Akron are each 6-3 and Buffalo is 5-4. The RedHawks next four games are against teams that are in contention for those byes.
ABOUT THE ZIPS: Akron is 15-7 overall and 6-3 in the MAC. The Zips are a fast-paced, aggressive offensive team that tries to win more by outscoring opponents rather than on the defensive end. They have won three straight contests, including a thrilling, 82-81, victory over Eastern Michigan on Wednesday. Akron averages 75.9 points per game offensively even though it only plays an average of seven players in its rotation. The Zips are led by redshirt junior forward Rachel Tecca. She averages 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Other key players include junior guard Hanna Luburgh, who averages 15.8 points per game, and junior forward Sina King, who averages 14.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest. Akron's point guard, junior Kacie Cassell, ranks second in the nation with an average of 7.5 assists per game. The Zips do give up an average of 65.3 points in their contests, an average that has risen to 68.7 points per game in MAC play.
SERIES WITH AKRON: Miami holds a 32-8 lead in the all-time series with Akron. The RedHawks have won four straight against the Zips, including both meetings last season. On Jan. 4 in Akron, Miami earned a 95-85 overtime victory. Despite only scoring 17 points in the first half, the game turned historic as Courtney Osborn could not miss in the second half and overtime periods. She finished with 48 points in leading the RedHawk comeback, setting both school and MAC records for points in a game. In the rematch in Oxford on Feb. 22, Miami would come away with an 84-76 win. Osborn was strong again as she led five 'Hawks in double figures with 21 points.
UP NEXT FOR THE REDHAWKS: There are no midweek games in the MAC next week, giving the RedHawks a full seven days off to recuperate from what has been a busy schedule. Miami returns to action next Saturday when it hosts Central Michigan at 1 p.m. That will be part of another doubleheader that will see the men take on Buffalo at 3 p.m. The games will be broadcast live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.