Red and White look to improve MAC standing
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 23:01
The Miami University women’s basketball team (9-6, 1-1 MAC) will battle against the Eastern Michigan University Eagles (3-12, 1-1 MAC) for an edge in the standings in a Mid-American Conference (MAC) matchup.
Miami Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa looks for the RedHawks to slow down an athletic Eastern Michigan team.
“Eastern Michigan has an up tempo style of play,” Fantanarosa said. “We don’t want to let them score any easy points like rebound put-backs.”
The Eagles will be coming to Oxford for their fourth MAC game overall and third MAC game on the road. Despite their 3-12 record, the Eagles have out-rebounded their opponents on average this season.
Eastern Michigan will be without its leading scorer in senior guard Miranda Tate, who was dismissed from the team after 12 games.
RedHawks senior Kirsten Olowinski has averaged a double-double this season with 11.2 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game. Olowinski realizes the close level of competition in the MAC.
“I think the MAC is a conference where anyone can win,” Olowinski said. “Teams with a chip on their shoulder can gain an edge.”
Olowinski and classmate Courtney Osborn have led the ’Hawks in scoring while the team had battle injuries and sickness. The ’Hawks have only played their original starting five three times out of the 14 games played this far.
Fantanarosa believes the obstacles have helped develop a team that she believes has “high character.”
The MAC season is very important to the RedHawks and Fantanarosa believes development is the key to success.
“This team has a lot of potential, we need to stay focused on our fundamentals,” Fantanarosa said. “Consistency leads to wins.”
Osborn hopes that the ’Hawks continue to build off of their 73-47 win at Western Michigan University (5-12, 0-2 MAC).
“If we play like we did at Western Michigan we can make a run for the MAC Championship,” Osborn said. “We need to continue to build every game.”
Osborn is leading the RedHawks with 18 points per game and is shooting 41 percent from behind the arc.
Olowinski believes winning MAC games early are a key to success.
“Once you get a win or two under your belt it builds team confidence,” Olowinski said.
The ’Hawks play three of their next four games after Eastern Michigan on the road. Then they will return to Oxford for a three game home stand.
Fantanarosa believes the Eagles are a defensive oriented team.
The Eagles opponents are shooting 41 percent this season.
The ’Hawks hope to make a run at the MAC Championship and Fantanarosa does not believe momentum is the key to success for the RedHawks.
“We are not looking for momentum as much as consistent individual leadership, which will lead to team consistency,” Fantanarosa said.
Osborn and Olowinski have been consistent statistical leaders of the ’Hawks this season and junior Haley Robertson scored a career high 19 points at Western Michigan.
If this consistent play continues, Osborn believes the RedHawks will be a force to be reckoned with in the MAC Championships.
“We’re going to be right there with the best of them,” Osborn said.