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'Hawks drop fifth straight MAC game

By Justin Maskulinski
On February 24, 2014

The Miami University women's basketball team lost its fifth straight game Sunday, as the RedHawks fell to Kent State University 67-51.

The loss was the sixth in seven Mid-American Conference (MAC) games for the Red and White. The RedHawks (7-18, 3-11 MAC) have four regular season MAC games remaining.

The Golden Flashes (6-19, 2-11) earned the victory by shooting 53.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc. Entering Sunday's game, the Flashes were shooting 37 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range.

Miami head coach Cleve Wright said the RedHawks tried to change their defense to adjust to the Golden Flashes high percentage shooting.

"We tried to play zone a little bit," Wright said. "We tried to get in the passing lanes and [Kent State] did a great job of being patient."

The two teams battled back and forth for the opening eight minutes of the game. At the 11:09 mark of the first half the Golden Flashes went on a 9-0 run that lasted over four minutes. Kent State led 22-12 at the 7:06 mark and the 'Hawks were unable to regain the lead for the rest of the game.

The RedHawks began shooting in the bonus with 9:35 remaining in the second half, down 53-40, but the Golden Flashes continued to answer every Miami scoring possession with one of their own.

Four of the five Kent State starters finished the game with four fouls.

The RedHawks struggled from the field, sinking just 16 of 48 shots for a 33.3 percent field goal percentage. The 'Hawks shot 4 of 15 from behind the arc, making 26.7 percent of their 3-point attempts.

"We weren't putting the ball in the basket on our end," Wright said. "We weren't able to stay in reach of them and keep it competitive."

The RedHawks fell short in the rebounding battle in consecutive games, as Kent State outrebounded the Red and White 29-27.

The Golden Flashes dominated the paint, an area where the RedHawks have been strong this year. Kent State tallied 28 points in the paint, while Miami had 14.

"We allowed them to get position low and get too close to the basket," Wright said. "[Kent State] has some pretty good size and they were able to hit shots."

The RedHawks were fundamentally sound in taking charges Sunday; taking more than five charges in the game.

"We definitely do drills in practice centered around [taking charges]," senior guard Haley Robertson said. "We want to have that advantage for our defense."

The RedHawks were led by Robertson, as she scored 11 points. Senior forward Erica Almady scored nine, while junior guard Courtney Larson and senior guard Hannah Robertson each had eight points.

The 'Hawks will have a few days off before returning to northeastern Ohio for a Wednesday night game against the University of Akron Zips (17-8, 11-3 MAC).

"I would say we have some things we need to refocus on," Robertson said. "Within the next couple days we need to work on playing together."

Miami's final regular season road game is set for 7 p.m. After Wednesday, the RedHawks will wrap up their regular season with three home games against MAC East Division opponents.

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