// Women's Basketball

Miami Gets Past Falcons, 57-54

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Alexis Rogers, Bailey Cairnduff v Miami - Larry Clapper photo
Visiting Miami University fought off a comeback bid by the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team, and the RedHawks made just enough plays down the stretch to hold off the Falcons, 57-54, Thursday night (Jan. 24).  The Mid-American Conference game was held at the Stroh Center.

POSTGAME AUDIO:  Jennifer Roos   |   Alexis Rogers
POSTGAME VIDEO:  Jennifer Roos   |   Alexis Rogers

With the win, MU improves to 12-6 overall and 4-1 in MAC play.  The RedHawks assume sole possession of first place in the MAC's East Division race.  The Falcons, also 12-6 overall, drop to 3-2 in league play.

Hannah Robertson had just one rebound on the night, but it was very likely the key play of the game.  The Falcons trailed by two points after a jumper from freshman Miriam Justinger with 1:01 left, but Miami's next possession took all but 3.6 seconds of the remaining time.

That possession saw the RedHawks go just 1-of-4 from the free-throw line, but also saw MU get no fewer than four offensive rebounds.  After Courtney Osborn, who led Miami with 14 points, missed a shot, teammate Kirsten Olowinski came up with the rebound and the visitors used a timeout with 33.8 seconds left.  Olowinski had 15 boards on the night to lead all players.

Following the timeout, MU used nearly all of the shot clock before Osborn fired a three-point try.  That shot was off the mark as well, but Olowinski again got the offensive board and was fouled with 6.1 seconds left.

Olowinski went to the line and misfired on two free-throw attempts.  After the second miss, however, Hannah Robertson knifed between several BGSU players to grab the loose ball.  The Falcons were forced to foul Robertson, and the MU junior made the first of her two charity tosses with 3.6 seconds left.  She missed the second shot, and BGSU senior Danielle Havel came up with the rebound.  But, Havel's last-ditch shot attempt from beyond halfcourt was off the mark, and the visitors had a rare victory over the Falcons.

The MU win snapped a seven-game series winning streak for the Falcons.

BGSU redshirt junior Alexis Rogers had a game-high 19 points along with nine rebounds for the Falcons, who had a narrow 38-37 advantage on the boards.  Havel, like Rogers, narrowly missed a double-double, with nine points and a team-leading 10 rebounds.  Havel also paced the Falcons with four assists.

The Falcons got out to an early 11-2 lead, primarily on the strength of Rogers.  The redshirt junior scored seven points during that stretch.  But, the RedHawks had the better of the play for much of the remainder of the half.  MU would tie the game, 13-13, on a putback by Erica Almady, and two more buckets gave the visitors an 8-0 run and a 17-13 lead.  Miami's advantage would reach eight points in the final minute of the period, before a Justinger triple narrowed the gap to five at the intermission.

The second half saw the RedHawks' lead grow to a game-high 11 points on an Olowinski layup with just under 15 minutes left.  But, freshman Bailey Cairnduff hit a jumper to spark a 6-0 run, and Cairnduff's three-pointer several minutes later cut Miami's lead to just two points, 36-34, with 11:27 left in the game.

The visitors extended the lead back out to seven points on two occasions over the next few minutes, but BG battled back again, eventually tying the contest on a pair of Rogers free throws with 4:10 left.  On the next possession, however, Osborn's three-pointer gave the visitors the lead for good.

BGSU shot just 28 percent from the field in the opening half, but went 13-of-29 (44.8%) in the second period en route to a 37.0% effort for the game.  The RedHawks shot 41.1% on the night.  The teams combined to make just five three-point field goals in 34 tries.

In addition to Osborn's 14 points, Almady had 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Hannah Robertson had 11 points to round out the RedHawks' double-digit scorers.

Junior Jillian Halfhill scored eight points for the Brown and Orange, while Cairnduff had seven, all in the second half.

After Almady put back a teammate's miss just 12 seconds into the game, Rogers answered a layup to begin an 11-0 BGSU run.  Havel's entry pass to Rogers resulted in another layup several minutes later, and senior Chrissy Steffen's pull-up jumper gave BG a 6-2 lead at the 15:21 mark.

Rogers split a pair of free throws, and Havel grabbed an offensive board and flipped a nifty pass to Rogers for another layup and a 9-2 advantage.  Havel hit a pair of free throws with 13:52 on the clock, giving the Brown and Orange a nine-point lead, BG's largest of the game.

The lead nearly grew to 14-2, but a three-point try by Steffen was halfway through the cylinder before bouncing out. It was one of several long-distance attempts that rattled around and out for the Falcons.

Almady's layup with 12:51 left before halftime snapped MU's scoreless streak of nearly seven minutes, and her three-point play less than a minute later cut BG's lead to 11-7.  Osborn's step-back jumper narrowed the margin to two points, before a Havel steal led to a Rogers layup off of a long pass by Halfhill.

But, two free throws by Jessica Rupright began an 8-0 run for the visitors.  Hannah Robertson's steal and jumper gave the 'Hawks a 15-13 lead, and Osborn's bucket put MU up by four points with 6:44 left before the half.

Two Rogers free throws broke a BG scoreless drought of over five minutes, but after junior Jill Stein blocked a layup attempt by the RedHawks, the ball caromed off the backboard and out to a wide-open Osborn. The senior drilled a three-pointer to give the RedHawks a 22-16 lead with 2:46 left in the period.

The lead reached eight points when Olowinski came up with an offensive board and layup in the final minute of the period.  Steffen, however, found an open Justinger in the left corner, and the freshman knocked down a three-point try with 14 seconds left, cutting the MU advantage to 26-21 at the break.

Rogers had 11 of the Falcons' 21 first-half points, with no other BGSU player scoring more than three.  Almady scored nine of her 13 points in the opening half, making all four of her field-goal attempts in that time.

The second half saw MU score eight of the first 10 points to take a 34-23 lead on Olowinski's layup with 14:41 left.  Cairnduff, who did not see action in the game's first 25 minutes, then played a large part in BG's comeback.

Havel's pass found the freshman for a pull-up jumper, and Havel then executed a nifty shot fake to get her would-be defender in the air before converting a shot inside.  With just under 13 minutes left, Cairnduff drove the lane and dished the ball to an open Rogers for a layup, and Miami's lead was down to five points, 34-29.

Hannah Robertson hit a long two-point try, but Rogers knocked down a pair of free throws, and Cairnduff took another Havel pass and drilled a shot from the left corner.  The three-pointer cut Miami's lead to just two points, 36-34, with 11:27 left.

MU responded with a three-point play by Hannah McCue, and a steal and layup by Haley Robertson, Hannah's twin sister, gave the visitors a 41-34 advantage.  But, senior Allison Papenfuss converted a layup on a possession that saw the Falcons get three offensive rebounds, and a steal and jumper by Cairnduff cut the Miami lead to three points.

Again, the visitors had an answer, scoring four-straight points to surge ahead by a 45-38 count.  Halfhill picked up a pair of assists, though, finding Rogers for a layup, then whipping a long pass to Havel, who hit a transition 'and-one' layup.  The senior's free throw with 6:31 remaining cut the MU lead to 45-43.

Hannah Robertson scored inside, but a nifty passing sequence between Cairnduff, Justinger and Havel resulted in a Havel layup with 5:20 to go.  Seventy seconds later, Rogers picked Haley Robertson's pocket at midcourt and was fouled as she headed in for a layup.  The redshirt junior hit two tosses from the line, and the game was tied, 47-all.

After a timeout, however, Osborn connected from three-point range, giving the RedHawks the lead for good.  Halfhill converted a running one-handed shot off glass, but Haley Robertson's baseline drive resulted in a layup and a 52-49 MU lead with 2:49 remaining.

BGSU turned the ball over, and Hannah Robertson's jumper put the 'Hawks up by five.  Halfhill, however, drained a three-ball with 1:37 remaining, cutting the Falcons' deficit to 54-52.  Osborn's two free throws were followed by the Justinger jumper with 1:01 on the clock, setting the stage for the final Miami possession of the night.

Both teams had 15 turnovers in the game, but the RedHawks had a 20-12 advantage in points off turnovers.  MU also had 32 points in the paint to the Falcons' 24.

The Falcons will hit the road for five of the next six games, beginning with a trip to Ypsilanti to face Eastern Michigan University on Sunday (Jan. 27).  Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at EMU's Convocation Center.
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