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Women's basketball heads to Buffalo

By Justin Maskulinski
On January 27, 2014

The "spring" semester has begun, and Oxford has been stung by frigid temperatures. 

The Miami University women's basketball team will be traveling to the notoriously wintry Buffalo, NY to take on the Bulls of the University at Buffalo in a Mid-American Conference (MAC) game.

Luckily, basketball is played indoors.

The RedHawks (6-12, 2-5 MAC) look to form a hot streak amidst the cold when they tip off 7 p.m. Thursday against the Bulls (11-7, 4-3 MAC).

The trip to Buffalo is one of the longer trips for the RedHawks, but senior center Kelsey Simon said the 'Hawks will treat it like every other game.

"We're going to focus on practice and keep working on what we need to work on," Simon said.

The RedHawks are coming off a 72-62 home win last Saturday over Kent State University (3-15, 0-7 MAC). The RedHawks were led by Simon, who recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

The last time the RedHawks visited Buffalo, 2013 graduate Courtney Osborn broke the school record for points scored. This time around, the RedHawks will try to improve their MAC record.

Simon said the RedHawks are improving their team play more as the season progresses.

"I think we are learning each other's strengths and weaknesses and we're playing to them," Simon said. "I also think in the future we will be more consistent with all of the little things."

Throughout the season, the RedHawks have seen sporadic breakout games by freshman guard Jillian Spurlock and freshman forward Nicole Anderson.

Head coach Cleve Wright said he believes the youth of the players is the reason they have played sporadically to this point.

"I certainly think it comes with time," Wright said. "As they gain experience, I think consistency will come."

Spurlock tallied 13 points and nine rebounds for the RedHawks last Saturday, while Anderson had 14 points and six rebounds. Spurlock averages 18 minutes of action per game while Anderson sees 24 minutes per game.

The RedHawks have 10 players averaging more than 13 minutes per game, and Wright said he thinks the team's depth will pay off in the long run.

"At the end of a long season, the hope is that it will help us in February because we'll have more [rested] legs," Wright said.

The RedHawks hope to improve offensively and defensively as they move forward in their MAC schedule.

"We still need to come together as a team offensively," Wright said. "Defensively, we need to start doing a better job playing together."

Wright said the team needs to be ready for the challenge of a long road trip in the beginning of the semester.

"We need to be aware, obviously with the classes starting and the long road trip," Wright said. "We've got to be hungry to go up there and play well, hungry to play together. I think if we can go up there with that kind of mindset we can win."


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