MU hopes to bounce back against CMU
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 21:02
The Miami University women’s basketball team (14-9, 6-4 Mid-American Conference (MAC)) has had a week to prepare for its MAC matchup against the Central Michigan University Chippewas (14-9, 8-2 MAC).
The RedHawks lost two conference games to the MAC West Division leading University of Toledo (21-2, 9-1) and the East Division leading University of Akron (16-7, 7-3) before their week off.
The ’Hawks allowed 80 points in both games.
“The break comes at a great time,” senior guard Courtney Osborn said. “Any time you let a team score 80-plus points, you’ll never win those games.”
Osborn believes the ’Hawks need to focus on the fundamentals moving forward.
“Our offense has been great but we need to focus on our rebounding and defense,” Osborn said.
Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa also thinks the timing of the break is great.
“The players are starting to get tired mentally and physically as well,” Fantanarosa said.
Junior guard Hannah Robertson also believes that staying healthy and in shape down the final stretch of the regular season is important.
“A lot of it is taking care of yourself,” Robertson said. “Having a good attitude is important moving forward.”
Fantanarosa said she has and will continue to challenge the RedHawks bench players to contribute.
“I challenged the bench players in practice; I showed them stats to show them how unproductive they have been,” Fantanarosa said.
The RedHawks have averaged 64 points per game this season and the starting five of Robertson, Osborn, junior guard Haley Robertson, junior forward Erica Almady, and senior forward Kirstin Olowinski average a combined 53 points per game.
Osborn leads the ’Hawks with 17.4 points per game. Olowinski averages a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds per game. Olowinski holds the Miami record for double-doubles.
In the ’Hawks’ loss to Akron, the bench only accounted for four of the 77 points scored.
“I told the bench players that they need to earn the respect of the coaches and starters,” Fantanarosa said.
The ’Hawks have used this week to prepare for the final stretch of their season.
“We all understand the importance of these last few games,” Osborn said. “We need to have a sense of urgency day in and day out.”
The RedHawks take on the Chippewas 1 p.m. Saturday in Millett Hall as they try to improve their MAC record.
The Chippewas leading scorer is sophomore guard Crystal Bradford who averages 15 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Bradford also shoots 45 percent from the field.
The RedHawks’ leading scorer, Osborn, has the opportunity to make Miami history on Saturday. She is 22 points away from breaking the school record for points (1,979) which is currently held by Amanda Jackson who played for the ’Hawks from 2003-08.
Osborn hopes to help break the two game skid the ’Hawks are in. She knows that she and classmate Olowinski’s basketball days are numbered.
“The leadership starts with me and [Olowinski],” Osborn said. “We know we only have a month or so left in our career.”