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Injury-plagued MU travels to Buffalo

D5016 Women's Basketball vs NKU
D5016 Women's Basketball vs NKU

By Julia Rivera, staff writer

The Miami University women's basketball team hits the road for the second time this week to face University at Buffalo. It's the second time this year the two teams will meet.

The 'Hawks had two away games this week for the second time this season.

Head coach Cleve Wright said the travel can be tough for student-athletes.

"We feel like we are handling it the best way we can possible, especially academically, and also just trying to keep their legs," Wright said. "It's going to be very important that we rest and get rest even on the road."

With four games left in the regular reason, Miami has lost several players to injuries.

Wright added sophomore guard Kayla Brown to the starting lineup against Ohio University on Wednesday, making that lineup the eighth different starting combination Miami has used this year.

Senior forward Hannah McCue had already been out the entire season, and sophomore guard Baleigh Reid suffered a season-ending injury earlier this year. Both were prominent starters in 2015.

Miami holds a 20-13 lead in the all-time series with Buffalo. Their last win was Jan. 23 when the 'Hawks took a 69-53 victory.

The Bulls (12-12, 4-9 Mid-American Conference) are coming off a 70-55 loss to Eastern Michigan University, and Miami (9-15, 3-10 MAC) is coming off a 72-44 loss to OU.

The Red and White had a season-high 36 turnovers against OU. It was the 16th time this season and the eighth time in past 10 games the RedHawks brought in double-digit offensive rebounds. Freshman Kristen Levering finished with a career-high six rebounds.

Miami and Buffalo are evenly matched, as Miami shoots 36.3 percent from the field and Buffalo shoots 36.6 percent. Junior guard Joanna Smith leads with Bulls in scoring, averaging 18.3 points a game. Sophomore guard Stephanie Reid is second on the team, averaging 10.7 points per game.

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With Baleigh Reid out, freshman guard Leah Purvis leads Miami, averaging 10.7 points per game.

"We need to make a decision," Wright said. "We're going to be stronger with the ball and we're not going to put ourselves in positions where we're going to lose the ball."

Tip off is at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y.