Miami drops third straight MAC game, Osborn gets closer to school record
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 22:02
The Miami University women’s basketball team entered Saturday’s game trying to end a two game Mid-American Conference (MAC) losing streak and improve its defensive play.
The RedHawks (14-10, 6-5 MAC) lost their third straight MAC game 72-60 to the Central Michigan University Chippewas (15-9, 9-2 MAC).
Miami had allowed 80 points in each of its previous two MAC losses.
“Central Michigan is a great team,” Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa said. “Our defense improved a lot today.”
The Chippewas have the second best record in the entire MAC trailing only the University of Toledo (22-2, 10-1).
Senior guard Courtney Osborn led the Red and White on offense with 19 points and eight assists, but she also was impressed with the defensive improvement.
“The defense did a really good job today against a great Central Michigan team,” Osborn said.
The Chippewas average 75 points per game as a team.
They were led by sophomore guard Crystal Bradford who recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The ’Hawks lost the game by twelve points but they only trailed the Chippewas by six points with 3 minutes remaining.
Both Fantanarosa and Osborn agreed on one of the difference-makers in Saturday’s game.
That difference was foul shots. The RedHawks shot 56 percent (14-25) from the charity stripe on Saturday.
This is substantially lower than the RedHawks 70 percent season average.
“We were improving on defense but our struggle was missed free throws and being out-rebounded,” Fantanarosa said.
Miami was outrebounded on Saturday 50-36.
The ’Hawks have outrebounded their opponents by an average of three boards this season.
“We are getting better, but we need to improve on the little things,” Osborn said.
Also leading the RedHawks in scoring Saturday was senior forward Kirsten Olowinski who scored 15 points and had eight rebounds.
Junior forward Erica Almady had 12 points and snatched six rebounds for the ’Hawks. Five of Almady’s six rebounds were offensive rebounds.
After a week of practice in which Fantanarosa challenged the RedHawks bench players to “earn the respect of the coaches and the starters,” the bench accounted for one of the ’Hawks 60 points.
Central Michigan’s bench also struggled, only scoring five of the Chippewas’ 72 points.
With Osborn’s 19 points she came even closer to becoming the all-time scorer at Miami University, but that was the last thing that Osborn was worried about after the ’Hawks dropped their third straight MAC game.
“The scoring record is not a focus for me or the team,” Osborn said. “I want to get a win.”
Osborn has taken a team-first mentality with regards to the scoring record.
The ’Hawks fell into a third place tie in the MAC East Division after Saturday’s loss.
Before the RedHawks began their three game skids they were tied for first in the MAC East.
They are now two games back of the University of Akron and two games back of Bowling Green State University.
The ’Hawks will travel to New York for a battle for third place against the University at Buffalo Bulls (8-16, 6-5) Wednesday. The Bulls are also tied for third in the MAC East.
Courtney Osborn is likely to break the scoring record, but she is not concerned about personal accolades.
“The number one priority is getting a win,” Osborn said.