You can’t always win, but you can always fight.
The Miami RedHawks women’s basketball team played the Ohio University Bobcats Saturday at Millett Hall. The game took place on Miami’s Love.Honor.Care Day, celebrating and raising money for those who have battled against cancer.
While the women put up a fight, the RedHawks fell, 84-70, to the Bobcats. The game might not have turned out the way the RedHawks wanted, but everyone was impressed with their determination to never give up, a sentiment to the emotions in the area playing in front of those affected by cancer.
“I think we all have [some connection to cancer],” Miami head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “A family member, friends, cancer is one of those things that is not one way. It’s unfortunate. The message to our kids was we get to play basketball for two hours. To see all the cancer survivors, to see all the support [for that] and how hard that is, we just get to play for two hours.”
The RedHawks not only had to battle through the emotions of the day, but also through the high-power offense that OU brought out.
The beginning of the first quarter went well for Miami, as it held a lead until the six-minute mark.
Ohio then went lights out from the three-point arc, finishing the quarter with 55-percent success rate from deep. Miami ended the first period, trailing 29-16.
During the second period, the RedHawks shifted from a man defense to a zone. This change in tactics held Ohio to 19 points in the quarter while Miami scored 13 to bring the game within 20 at halftime.
The third period began with a trey from Miami freshman guard Peyton Scott off an assist from redshirt junior forward Abbey Hoff. Ohio responded with a 22-10 run to gain a game-high 30-point lead with two minutes remaining in the quarter.
Miami came out with a fiery determination in the last ten minutes of play, putting the Bobcats on their heels, clinging to their lead.
Freshman forward Amani Freeman grabbed a defensive board and passed the ball up to senior guard Lauren Dickerson, who made it into Ohio’s paint for a two-point basket.
Then, Freeman stole the ball off of a bad pass in Miami territory, which led to a made 3-point shot from Dickerson off the fast break.
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Hoff stole the ball after the inbound and passed to junior guard Kenzie Schmitz who drained the three and forced an Ohio timeout. Her shot put the Redhawks only down by 12 with five minutes left in the game.
Schmitz finished with a career-high 13 points.
“It was exciting, but I wish we came out with the win, so we could be excited about both things,” Schmitz said. “It just goes to show that I have confidence from my teammates and coaches to keep shooting the ball and help the team.”
The two teams traded blows in the time remaining, with the score hovering around a 15-point difference until the horn sounded and OU took the game.
The fourth quarter proved Miami’s willingness to fight until the end, a nod to the battle of so many cancer survivors in the audience.
“[The run] shows that we definitely can stick together and play hard when we want,”Schmitz said. “We can get the results we need when we show up ready to play. Sticking together and fighting harder was the message we took into the second half, and obviously, we didn’t show up right away, but it’s promising that we still have games to play.”
The RedHawks have a midweek bye this week. Their next game is at Kent State on Saturday at 1 p.m.