After her first buzzer beater of her career, sophomore guard Peyton Scott didn’t know how to act.
“I was jumping around like a maniac,” Scott said.
Her shot gave the Miami RedHawks a 61-58 over the Kent State Golden Flashes, who was second in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) standings before the game.
Kent State jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first two minutes, but Scott answered with two driving layups to cut the lead to 8-6.
From there, the Flashes went on a 7-0 run, as a jumper from junior guard Hannah Young made the score 15-6. Redshirt senior forward Abbey Hoff and senior forward Kelly McLaughlin, both playing in their last home games as RedHawks, each made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to four.
Sophomore guard Katie Shumate scored a basket to make the score 18-12 after the first period.
The second quarter was back and forth, with both teams trading baskets for a few minutes. Shumate made another bucket to extend the team’s lead to seven, then Scott hit a three to make the score 23-19.
After Scott’s shot, Kent State made another run. Sophomore forward Nila Blackford and Young each made two straight baskets, giving the Flashes a 32-21 lead, their first double-digit lead of the game.
The RedHawks wouldn’t go away, though, as redshirt sophomore forward Tihanna Fulton hit a mid-range jumper on a pass from Scott. Scott then assisted on two straight 3-pointers from senior guard Kenzie Schmitz and freshman guard Katie Davidson, as Kent State called a timeout.
Scott made another shot before the end of the quarter to make the score 33-31 at halftime.
In the second half, the game plan was simple: give the ball to McLaughlin down low.
She scored the team’s first eight points of the half, with all of her buckets coming in the post. After a banker by Scott, McLaughlin went back to work, scoring another basket inside on a feed from Scott.
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All of a sudden, the score was 46-39, Miami.
The RedHawks’ defense was swarming in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers. Miami was active on defense the whole game, getting hands in passing lanes and forcing the Flashes to make bad passes.
"We're just doing our jobs defensively," head coach DeUnna Hendrix said.
Kent State got the lead to within three, but Scott found McLaughlin down low again for two. McLaughlin scored 14 points in the third quarter.
At the end of the third quarter, Miami led 51-46.
Early in the fourth, McLaughlin picked up her fourth foul of the game. She was quickly taken out of the game and didn’t return until under four minutes left. By that time, the Flashes had retaken the lead, 54-53.
Offense was hard to come by for both teams, as they made only five field goals total in the period.
After two free throws from Blackford, McLaughlin answered with two free throws of her own to cut the deficit back to one.
The rest of the game was sloppy for both teams, as neither could score in the last few minutes of the game.
With less than a minute left and the RedHawks down by three, Scott drove inside and made a banker, getting the foul call as well. After a free throw, the score was tied at 58 with less than a minute to go.
After a stop, Miami set up a play for Scott, but she lost the ball and the RedHawks had to call timeout with just three seconds left.
Coming out of the timeout, Hoff inbounded the ball to Scott. The Flashes overplayed her and went for the steal, which left her wide open. She took two dribbles and pulled up for a 3-pointer at the top of the key.
After the shot, Scott jumped into the waiting arms of assistant coach Hailey Yohn. The rest of her teammates mobbed her, capping off a major upset for the ’Hawks.
Before the game, the team honored three of its seniors, all starters: McLaughlin, Hoff and Schmitz. McLaughlin was the team’s second-leading scorer with 21 points, with Hoff and Schmitz scoring five and three points, respectively.
The team’s leading scorer was Scott, with 25 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
After a thrilling win in the last home game of the season, the RedHawks travel to Buffalo to take on the Bulls this Wednesday. The game tips off at 5 p.m. on ESPN+.