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'Hawks falls to Akron, fails to secure bye

By Justin Maskulinski
On March 4, 2013

The Miami University women's basketball team will host a Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament game, as a result of a 71-65 defeat at the hands of the MAC East Division leader University of Akron (20-8, 11-4) Sunday.

Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa and the rest of the RedHawks (17-11, 9-6) did not want this to happen; they would have preferred to have a bye week.

"To get to the MAC Championship we have to win four games instead of three games; it's not a huge difference," Fantanarosa said.

"We're disappointed that we are not getting a bye," Fantanarosa said. "It's not that we're just disappointed about the loss, we're more disappointed that it came down to this scenario."

Senior forward Kirsten Olowinski recorded another double-double as she scored 17 points and snatched 16 rebounds.

"We played well as a team, but our communication had a few issues," Olowinski said.

Fantanarosa said that Olowinski put forth a solid effort Sunday.

"[Olowinski] did a great job rebounding," Fantanarosa. "She did a great job on offense, but we need someone who can give her a rest on defense."

Fantanarosa has often called for the bench of the RedHawks to contribute to take pressure off of the starters. Junior forward Kelsey Simon led the 'Hawks bench with five points and four rebounds.

Senior point guard Courtney Osborn scored 23 points for the Red and White before fouling out with about 3:23 left in the second half.

Fantanarosa believed that Osborn's fouling out was a turning point in the game.

"[Osborn] fouled out and we were up by five, we had four turnovers in the last three minutes," Fantanarosa said.

Fantanarosa said that the game was "very closely called." She also noted that fouls and turnovers changed the game for the RedHawks.

"We battled for most of the game; we fouled and turned the ball over too much, Fantanarosa said. "We had way too many fouls."

The RedHawks committed 24 personal fouls on Sunday while the Zips were called for 16. The RedHawks average just over 14 fouls per game on the season.

"There were calls on both sides in the game," Olowinski said. "It wasn't bad defense or bad officiating. We have to react to the way the game is called."

Despite the loss, Fantanarosa is satisfied with the RedHawks' performance in recent games.

"The last four games we have given ourselves an opportunity to win," Fantanarosa said.

The 'Hawks will travel to Athens to take on arch rival Ohio University (6-21, 1-14 MAC) in their regular season finale. Seniors Olowinski and Osborn will be playing in their final regular season Battle of the Bricks.

The 'Hawks defeated the Bobcats in Oxford Jan .17, 78-56.

"[Ohio] is one of those games you can't take for granted," Olowinski said. "We want to go out with a bang."

Fantanarosa wants the 'Hawks to harvest some momentum before entering the MAC tournament.

"Having a good finish against OU will be important for us," Fantanarosa said.

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