Tough loss drops ’Hawks to 2-4 in MAC
Published: Monday, January 24, 2011
Updated: Monday, January 24, 2011 23:01
The Miami University women's basketball team had a slow start Sunday afternoon when it continued Mid-American Conference (MAC) play against the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Huskies.
The RedHawks pulled within two by the half and had a late comeback in the second half, but in the end fell to the Huskies 71-64.
The loss dropped the Red and White to 2-4 in the MAC and 10-9 overall.
The Huskies took a quick, early lead, and while the RedHawks had no trouble finding shots, they had difficulty making them fall.
"We had a slow offensive beginning," Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa said. "Courtney Osborn still isn't full go, and that's changing the timing of our offense."
Sophomore guard Courtney Osborn was injured in the game against the Ohio University Bobcats Jan. 18.
Osborn played Sunday, but scored only 11 points in the game.
Junior guard Maggie Boyer, who took over Osborn's point guard duties against the Bobcats, woke up the offense halfway through the half with an easy jump shot.
She then gave Miami its first lead of the afternoon when she drained her second three of the game.
The Huskies had a late 9-2 run, but the RedHawks were able to close the gap to two and finished the half down 28-26.
Coming out of the locker rooms for the second half, NIU scored first, but the RedHawks quickly tied it up 30-30.
Miami had to fight its way through the second half, but just couldn't keep up with the Huskies' physical game.
"We knew going in that it was going to be a physical game," Boyer said. "It was a bit challenging because it's not our style of play."
With less than 15 minutes to go in the second half, NIU made a 9-0 run, then scored another two three-point baskets to take a 45-32 lead.
The Red and White tried for a comeback with just less than four minutes left to play. Junior forward Rachael Hencke hit a three-point shot, and Osborn made a jumper.
With just more than four minutes left to play, junior forward Lillian Pitts hit her jump shot to close the gap to 61-57.
With two minutes left to play, Miami was down 65-60. Boyer rebounded an unsuccessful shot by NIU and was fouled by Husky center Ebony Ellis, which fouled her out of the game.
Boyer's two free throws brought Miami within three points, but the comeback ended there.
Boyer was called for a charge, and the Huskies finished the game shooting free throws, winning 71-64.
Boyer led the RedHawks with 18 points, Olowinski had 14 and Hencke had 11. Although Miami was able to hold the Huskies to 40 percent shooting, NIU outrebounded the RedHawks 46-29.
"The thing we're focusing on right now is rebounding," Boyer said. "We get rebounded by at least seven every game, so that's really the key for us."
The Red and White travel Jan. 26 to Muncie, Ind. to take on the Ball State University Cardinals.