After a slow start to conference play, things are turning around for Miami coach DeUnna Hendrix and her squad.
In its third game in five days, Miami beat Toledo, 92-83, Wednesday at Millett Hall, giving the RedHawks their third straight victory. Although it was only a nine-point win, Miami controlled the whole game, leading the Rockets for more than 38 minutes of game time.
“I think we’re doing some things right,” Hendrix said. “We’re putting some things together, especially on the offensive end.”
The team was on fire to start the game. A jumper from freshman guard Peyton Scott handed Miami an early 8-2 lead.
After a Toledo layup, the RedHawks went on a run, scoring 11 straight points to extend their early lead to 15.
With four RedHawk starters on the bench, Toledo responded, scoring eight straight points to end the quarter.
In the second quarter, Miami’s starters reclaimed control of the game. Three-pointers from redshirt junior forward Abbey Hoff and senior guard Lauren Dickerson gave the team a double-digit lead, and the RedHawks didn’t look back, taking a 45-29 advantage into the locker room.
Everything was clicking offensively for the RedHawks in the first half. The team shot 61 percent from the floor and 40 percent from 3-point range. Dickerson, Scott and senior forward Savannah Kluesner all reached double-digit point totals in the first half, and Hoff added three triples.
In the third quarter, it was more of the same, as Miami continued to extend its lead. After two Kluesner buckets and a 3-pointer from Dickerson, Scott made a three to put the RedHawks up by 22. The team made four threes in the third quarter, each of them coming from a different player.
A few minutes later, free throws from Kluesner gave the RedHawks a 68-45 lead, their largest of the night. The third quarter ended with Miami leading, 71-50.
Toledo started the fourth quarter by using a full-court press, trying to get back into the game. The Rockets clawed their way back, little by little, but the RedHawks had an answer for them.
Scott played a big role in icing the victory, scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter. She had a career high with 28 points on 8-of-16 shooting and 2-of-3 from behind the line. Scott also was 10-for-10 from the free throw line, with a few of those shots coming in the game’s final minutes.
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"Throughout the game, I was pretty locked in, and focused on the game plan and was even taking what they (the Rockets) were giving me," Scott said.
Although Toledo cut into the RedHawk lead in the fourth, Miami held on to win, 92-83.
Miami’s offensive performance was a sight to behold, as the team’s 92 points is the most it’s scored all season. The RedHawks were also efficient, shooting more than 50 percent from the field and 10-of-21 from 3-point range. They took 23 free throws and made all but one.
For Hendrix, it was the team’s ball movement that led the RedHawks’ offensive attack.
“Especially at the start of the game, we were just pushing in transition, getting some easy layups, getting some spot up threes,” Hendrix said. “The game’s a little bit easier when you can do that.”
The usual contributors stepped up for the RedHawks. Besides Scott, three other starters scored in double digits, including Dickerson, who had 23 points and five assists on 10-of-18 shooting. Kluesner added 21 points, six rebounds and three steals, and was 9-of-9 from the free throw line. Hoff scored 14 points on 4-of-6 from behind the line.
The RedHawks will be back in action this Saturday against Central Michigan. The game is at 2 p.m. in Millett Hall.