Friday was not the Miami debut DeUnna Hendrix had in mind.
Miami was defeated by 18th-ranked DePaul, 98-79, in her first game as head coach for the RedHawks. With the loss, the RedHawks will drop down to the consolation bracket in the Preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). Their opponent will be announced Sunday.
Miami scored the first points of the game on a 3-pointer by freshman guard Peyton Scott. Scott finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals in her RedHawk debut.
From there, the Blue Demons took over, going on a 12-2 run over the next three minutes.
With 5:46 left to go in the first quarter, Miami senior guard Lauren Dickerson was subbed out after picking up her second foul. Dickerson, who only played 16 minutes due to foul trouble, was held to two points by DePaul’s defense. Miami’s star player sat on the bench, while the Blue Demons extended their lead to 28-13 to close out the first quarter.
DePaul started the second quarter on a roll, going on a 16-1 run before a made jumper by Savannah Kluesner. The senior forward led the RedHawks in scoring with 21 points on an efficient 8-for-14 from the field. After that, Miami was outscored, 13-7, for the rest of the quarter, trailing, 51-29, at halftime.
Turnovers were the RedHawks’ first-half story. Miami turned the ball over 18 times in the opening half and finished the game with 27 giveaways. The RedHawks also struggled on the boards, allowing 15 offensive rebounds in the first half.
After a layup by Scott to start the third quarter, DePaul went on a 27-14 run to extend its lead to 78-45, its biggest advantage of the game. Scott was on fire during the quarter, scoring 11 of her 15 points. The RedHawks cut the deficit to 81-50 by the end of the period.
The RedHawks traded baskets with the Blue Demons at the start of the fourth. Graduate transfer guard Bree Paulson hit two threes in the first three and a half minutes. Paulson scored nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from behind the line in her Miami debut.
From there, the RedHawks tried to stage a comeback, but their deficit was too large and the clock didn't hold enough time. They ended the game on 18-6 run, highlighted by eight points from Kluesner.
Depaul won, 98-79.
Throughout the game, the RedHawks were bullied on the glass, getting outrebounded, 53-35. DePaul had as many offensive rebounds, 24, as the RedHawks had defensive rebounds. Miami also had trouble stopping the Blue Demons after miscues, giving up 27 points off turnovers.
Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter
Three Miami players scored in double figures, including Scott and Kluesner, who both played a team-high 32 minutes. Sophomore guard Kennedy Taylor also had 11 points and a team-high five assists. Junior forward Kelly McLaughlin led the team in rebounding with 10.
For DePaul, star forward Chante Stonewall led the team in scoring and rebounding, with 23 points and 12 rebounds on 11-of-14 shooting. The Blue Demons had five double-digit scorers.
The RedHawks will look to bounce back from the loss in the consolation bracket of the WNIT.