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Red and White fall to Oakland and MSU

By Grace Remington, For The Miami Student

While the majority of campus students and staff enjoyed leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner, the Miami University women's basketball team hit the road twice to continue their 2014-15 campaign.

The RedHawks dropped their first road game of the season to Oakland University 65-51 Friday and were routed by Michigan State University 85-39 Sunday afternoon.

"Win or lose, we need to learn," head coach Cleve Wright said. "Every game is a test, and we had two difficult tests this past weekend."

In the Oakland game, Miami was led by junior forward Jessica Rupright, who tallied 14 points and eight rebounds. Junior forward Hannah McCue notched a career-high 19 rebounds and freshman guard Baleigh Reid scored 11 points.

The RedHawks started out slowly, making only one of their first 11 shots. Oakland capitalized on that, building an 18-5 lead by the 11:49 mark. A jumper from freshman guard Kayla Brown helped Miami create an 11-0 run that held the Golden Grizzlies scoreless for 6:19 and narrowed the score to 18-16. However, the 'Hawks couldn't capture the lead and headed into the half trailing 28-24.

Oakland maintained control of the game through the second half, their lead fluctuating between five points and 18 points.

The Grizzlies were led by junior forward Olivia Nash, who scored 13 points with nine rebounds, and senior guard Peyton Apsey, who recorded 11 points, seven boards and eight assists. The Oakland defense held the RedHawks to just 27.3 percent from the floor.

"Our effort wasn't consistent tonight, we didn't execute our game plan, and I felt like we were a roller coaster all night long," Wright said.

Miami fell to 1-3 on the season after then-No. 16 MSU's dominating win Sunday. Reid was the only RedHawk to score in the double digits with 10 points. Freshman guard Ana Richter and Brown each contributed nine points.

The Spartans quickly jumped to a 10-1 lead within the first four minutes of play. The Red and White held steady pace of the ball, forcing MSU into turnovers on five straight possessions at one point. However, MSU ran away with the lead and the half ended at 41-19.

The second half told a similar story. Redshirt sophomore Tamira Ford and freshman guard Jazz Smith tried to close the gap with late-minute baskets, but it wasn't enough to lift the RedHawks past the Spartans.

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MSU had five players who scored in double digits. They were led by senior guard Anna Morrissey with 17 points. Miami was held to a 23. 9 shooting percentage, while MSU shot 53 percent.

"It was a good Michigan State team," Wright said. "They have good size and lots of great talent. I would've liked to come out stronger. There's certainly a lot we can learn from this game."

The RedHawks return to action noon Wednesday when they host Valparaiso University (3-3). Last season, Valpo finished with a 3-13 record and tied for eighth place in the Horizon League.

The Crusaders are shooting 41.4 percent on the season and holding opponents to 42.1 percent. Freshman forward Dani Franklin leads the squad with 13.2 points and seven rebounds per game.

"Valpo is much improved over last year…we'll have to be ready to play," Wright said. "They've got some nice wins already this year, they shoot the ball well from the outside - they have some guards that are shooting over forty percent from the three."

Tipoff is noon Wednesday.