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MU drops seventh straight MAC game

By Justin Maskulinski
On March 3, 2014

The Miami University women's basketball team dropped its seventh straight Mid-American Conference game Saturday, falling to the University at Buffalo, 74-61.

The RedHawks (7-20, 3-13 MAC) were trailing the Bulls (16-11, 9-7 MAC) by as many as 20 points in the first half. The 'Hawks pulled within four points of the visitors with 5:58 remaining in the second half, but Buffalo pulled away to complete the season sweep of Miami.

"It's disappointing that we lost," Miami head coach Cleve Wright said. "I felt like we showed some guts in the second half coming back a little bit. We just couldn't get over the hump."

The 'Hawks did not have a lead in the entire game, and trailed the Bulls by at least 10 points for 20 straight minutes.

The first-half deficit grew as the RedHawks struggled from the field. In the first half, the 'Hawks shot 31 percent from the field, while the Bulls shot 45 percent. Wright said the 'Hawks wanted to attack the Bulls more in the second half.

"[Buffalo] was having a hard time trying to set up their defense," Wright said. "We needed to attack their zone and not stand. I thought we had a lot of good looks in the first half that didn't go."

The RedHawks came out in the second half attempting numerous defensive strategies in order to slow the Bulls' offense.

"When you're down like that, you're trying to get turnovers," Wright said. "We were trying to give [Buffalo] a different look and make them think a little bit more. We were able to get some turnovers; it helped us a little bit."

The RedHawks' comeback was also assisted by freshman guard Jillian Spurlock, who scored 17 of her team-high 19 points in the second half.

"I think I had a little confidence boost after hitting the first or second shot," Spurlock said. "I wasn't hesitating, like [Wright] said, because when I do that, it's not pretty."

The pinnacle of the Miami comeback attempt was courtesy of a jumper by Spurlock to cut the lead to four points.

After that jumper, the Bulls went on an 8-0 run that gave them a commanding double-digit lead that they held on to.

The 'Hawks were also led by senior guard Hannah Robertson, who scored 18 points.

Miami finished the game shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 15 percent from behind the arc, making just three of its 20 attempts.

Next up, the 'Hawks will host Bowling Green State University (25-3, 15-1) noon Wednesday in Millett Hall.

The first time these two teams met, the Falcons took down the 'Hawks by a commanding score of 91-45.

Spurlock said the 'Hawks will be better prepared this time around.

"We have nothing to lose," Spurlock said. "We didn't play our best as a team that day, but when we do, I think we can make things happen. I think we have a pretty good chance with [Bowling Green]."

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