Red and White stay focused over break, start conference play
Published: Monday, January 14, 2013
Updated: Monday, January 14, 2013 22:01
While many Miami University students went home after finals in December, the women’s basketball team was getting prepared for a six-game stretch that included a trip to Mexico.
Staying focused was the goal for the RedHawks, according to Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa.
“Keeping the players focused is definitely a challenge,” Fantanarosa said. “We combine practice with film breakdown and focus on individual drills. We balance it with team bonding and other activities.”
Senior forward Kirsten Olowinski has become accustomed to the break.
“Freshman year I would have said it was hard to stay focused but now I am used to it,” Olowinski said.
The ’Hawks (9-6, 1-1 in the MAC) began their six-game stretch with a 71-37 blowout win at Chicago State University (1-16) where Olowinski led the team with 12 points.
The RedHawks then took a trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for the Caribbean Classic where they fell to Creighton University (13-3) 66-57. The RedHawks faced the Nevada University Wolf Pack (6-9) in their final game in Mexico and won 62-49, led by senior guard Courtney Osborn’s 30-point performance.
“It was our second game of the tournament and we had a mindset that we had to beat Nevada,” Osborn said.
Fantanarosa thought Osborn’s performance against Nevada was huge for a ’Hawks team that was struggling with injuries.
“Nevada was a good win for the team, it was the next step with a new line up,” Fantanarosa said.
In the very next game at Duquesne University (12-3), the ’Hawks defeated the Dukes 54-49 and Osborn broke the Miami University three-point field goal record previously held by Jenna Schone (2005-09).
“It was a great accomplishment, [Osborn] is a great leader,” Olowinski said. “We were all very happy for her.”
Osborn did not take any of the credit for her record, crediting her teammates for passing the ball when she is open behind the arc.
“The record just means I have had great teammates and coaches over the four years,” Osborn said. “I have never had a lack of trust in my teammates and coaches.”
Fantanarosa noted Osborn’s consistency behind the arc, but wants to shift focus to the team as they entered the MAC season.
“It is tough to stay focused over break but [the team] knew the MAC season was coming and we need to stay focused,” Osborn said.
The RedHawks began their 2013 MAC campaign in Muncie, Indiana against the Ball State University Cardinals (6-10, 2-0) with a 62-59 loss. Olowinski led the ’Hawks with 13 points and 12 rebounds. The double-double was Olowinski’s second in the six game stretch.
“[Olowinski] just tied the double-double record,” Fantanarosa said. “She does it consistently, it is a testament to her hard work.”
The RedHawks finished the six-game stretch with a 73-47 win at Western Michigan University (4-10, 0-2). Osborn led the way with 22 points and junior guard Haley Robertson set a career high with 19 points.
The ’Hawks finished their six game stretch with four wins and two losses.
The team faces archrival Ohio University (5-9, 0-2) 7 p.m. Thursday at Millet Hall.