OXFORD — Despite strong performances from freshmen Lauren Dickerson and Savannah Kluesner, Miami University’s women’s basketball team was unable to overcome a tough first quarter, falling 81-60 to Ball State Saturday afternoon at Millett Hall.
Dickerson led the RedHawks (7-16, 1-9 MAC) with 21 points on 8-of-18 shooting, including four 3-pointers. Kluesner also posted double-figures with 13 points, while also grabbing a game-high nine rebounds. As a team, Miami shot 35.8 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from beyond the arc.
The RedHawks struggled to get on the scoreboard in the opening quarter, although Dickerson was able to connect on a couple of baskets. With the help of three 3-pointers, the Cardinals (16-7, 9-2 MAC) quickly ran out to a sizeable advantage and led 24-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Dickerson’s success continued into the second quarter as she kept Miami within striking distance with 14 points, despite continued strong shooting from Ball State. As the end of the half neared, the rest of the RedHawks began to pick it up, highlighted by a 3-pointer from freshman forward Savannah Kluesner with 1:49 remaining. The 9-4 Miami run closed the score to 39-30 as both teams headed to the locker room.
Ball State opened the second half looking to rebuild its lead following the late Miami charge. Initially, they proved successful as they extended the advantage to 47-34 at the halfway point of the quarter. However, the resilient RedHawks once again caught fire, using a 12-5 lead to narrow the deficit to 52-46 at the 1:49 mark of the third. The late rally brought the tally to 56-48 as the fourth period commenced.
In the final quarter, Miami was unable to capitalize on the tight margin and eventually Ball State took control of the game. The Cardinals exploited a prolonged RedHawk scoring drought and used solid shooting from the foul line to seal their sixth victory in their last seven outings.
Miami remains at home this week as it takes on Akron on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. ESPN3 will broadcast the matchup. Wednesday’s game will serve as Girls and Women in Sports Night at Millett Hall and will celebrate the impact and history of women in sports throughout the evening.