Basketball is a team game. However, sometimes the best way to win is by putting the ball in your best player’s hands and letting her go to work.
That’s what Miami did Wednesday night in its 75-57 win over Eastern Kentucky at the Alumni Coliseum, when senior guard Lauren Dickerson had her best game of the young season. Dickerson dropped 37 points, eight assists and four steals on 14-of-27 shooting and 8-of-17 from behind the 3-point line.
During the game, Dickerson passed former RedHawk Heather Cusick for third on the program’s all-time scoring list. With 1,749 career points, Dickerson is just 417 points away from breaking the all-time scoring record at Miami held by Courtney Osborn.
The first quarter was back and forth, with senior forward Savannah Kluesner opening the scoring for the RedHawks with a tip-in to tie the game at 2. Kluesner finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, her second double-double in a row.
After that, the teams traded baskets, with an Eastern Kentucky layup making the scoring 17-16 in favor of the RedHawks with 2:06 left in the first quarter.
From there, Miami went on a tear, scoring 17 unanswered points to put the RedHawks up 34-16 with 3:45 left to go in the second quarter. Dickerson scored nine straight and 11 of RedHawks’ next 17 points.
After another Dickerson three and a 4-point play by freshman guard Peyton Scott, the RedHawks went into halftime with a 41-22 lead. Miami outscored the Colonels 20-6 in the second quarter, shooting 50% from both the field and behind the arc. The RedHawk defense stifled Eastern Kentucky’s offense, holding it to just 3-for-16 shooting in the second quarter.
The Colonels wouldn’t go away, though, as they slowly cut into Miami’s lead. They outscored the RedHawks 24-14 in the third quarter, including a 22-9 run that cut the lead to just six. However, Dickerson stopped the run with a jumper to put Miami back up by eight with 2:43 left in the third. Eastern Kentucky got the deficit back down to six, but a three from Dickerson with five seconds left in the quarter put the RedHawks ahead by nine.
In the fourth quarter, Miami retook control of the game, with two straight threes by Dickerson and Abbey Hoff, giving the RedHawks a 15-point lead. Although Eastern Kentucky tried to make a comeback, the RedHawks retained their double-digit lead late in the fourth, when three straight threes from Kenzie Schmitz and Dickerson extended Miami’s lead to 20.
The final score was 75-57.
As a team, the RedHawks were hot from three-point range, going 12-for-25 from behind the arc. Miami’s three double-digit scorers were Dickerson, Kluesner and Scott, who had 11 points and four steals on 4-of-9 shooting.
With the win, the RedHawks are now on a 3-game winning streak, improving to 3-1 on the season. Their next game will be this Saturday on the road against Bradley. The game will be televised on ESPN+.