By Grace Remington, Staff Writer
The Miami University women's basketball team ended its three-game losing skid with a dominant 82-59 win over Valparaiso University Wednesday afternoon in Millett Hall.
Junior forward Hannah McCue led the RedHawks (2-3) with 26 points, which included seven of Miami's season-high 14 three-pointers. She also grabbed 15 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.
"I definitely had to work to get some open shots, but it feels good to make a few in a row," McCue said. "You get some confidence. With rebounding comes team box-outs, and, honestly, I think a lot of my rebounds came from my teammates clearing out their players."
Miami scored a quick five points in the early minutes of the game, but Valpo countered with a 16-5 run that gave them a 16-10 lead almost six minutes into play. Valpo maintained a steady lead until the 7:44 mark, when it became a back-and-forth contest. Though the 'Hawks regained the lead twice, they went into the half trailing 40-39.
The RedHawks dominated the second half. Miami never gave up its lead, making 51.6 percent of its shots, up from 28.6 percent in the first half. The Crusaders couldn't counter Miami's hot shooting and only hit 25 percent of their shots, compared to 40 percent in the first half.
The RedHawks had nine turnovers and recorded 19 assists. Nine players each had at least one assist.
"That's how you score 82 points; you only have nine turnovers," head coach Cleve Wright said. "It's a team effort, so that 19 assists feels good. And when you're playing on a team like that, that shares the ball, it's more fun to play."
Junior forward Jessica Rupright and freshman guard Ana Richter also had large contributions, scoring 12 points and 11 points, respectively. Valpo was led by junior guard Jessi Weidemann with nine points and three assists. Not one of the Crusaders reached double-digits in any statistic.
The Red and White continue their season at Evansville University (2-4) Saturday. This is the first meeting between both teams and the first time Miami has played a Missouri Valley Conference school since 2007.
Through the first six games, the Purple Aces are shooting 39.7 percent and are holding opponents to 44.8 percent. Most
of their production comes from sophomore guard Sara Dickey and senior forward Mallory Ladd. Dickey is averaging 21 points per game and Ladd is averaging 17.8.
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Evansville enters this game after breaking a four-game losing streak with a 93-83 overtime win over Murray State Wednesday. Dickey set a school record with 37 points.
"We're excited about it," Wright said. "We have two days of preparation, and I felt like [in] our last two days of preparation before Valpo, our team really responded well after a tough weekend. We're looking forward to these two days of preparation and us getting the chance to go play on the road."
Tipoff is 5 p.m. Saturday at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.