OXFORD — The Miami University women’s basketball team used a late fourth-quarter run to pull ahead of and hold off Ohio Dominican for a 64-61 victory on Saturday. The game was the RedHawks only exhibition contest before beginning the regular season next Friday.
Freshman guard Lauren Dickerson had a spectacular performance in her first collegiate game. She finished with 26 points on 9-for-16 shooting, including 2-for-4 from behind the arc. Dickerson added six rebounds, four assists and five steals in 35 minutes of action..
“I thought we were a little bit of a roller coaster ride today,” said head coach Cleve Wright. “There were certainly some bright spots, but then there were things that needed to be corrected too. We turned the ball over too much. Defensively we held them to 31 percent (shooting) and forced 23 turnovers. We play exhibitions for a reason and that is to get players under the lights and into situations. We were fortunate enough today to get into a situation.”.
It was a slow start offensively for both teams until Dickerson drained a layup despite being fouled with 5:47 to go in the first quarter. She converted the field goal to give Miami a 5-2 lead. The Red and White fell behind, but a layup from sophomore forward Kendall McCoy, a jumper by junior guard Kayla Brown and a free throw from Dickerson made it 12-9. The Panthers scored the next four points, but a layup for McCoy gave the RedHawks a 14-13 lead at the end of the first quarter..
Both teams came out draining shots to begin the second quarter. Junior forward Molly McDonagh, sophomore guard Leah Purvis hit buckets, while a layup from sophomore forward Kristen Levering made it 20-18 in favor of MU. Ohio Dominican closed the period on a 13-8 run to take a 31-28 lead into the break..
A layup from Purvis and a jumper by Dickerson got the RedHawks the lead back immediately to begin the third quarter. Dickerson continued her offensive attack with another jumper. Junior guard Jazz Smith then drained a big three-pointer to put Miami on top once again at 39-37 with 3:27 to go. After a 6-0 run by the Panthers gave it a four-point cushion, Levering scored eight straight by herself to make it 47-43. The `Hawks took a 47-44 lead into the final period. Buckets by Purvis and Dickerson made it 53-47 with 7:49 remaining in the contest. ODU responded with six straight to tie the score at 53 with 5:43 to go. Dickerson broke the tie with a triple, but the Panthers scored the next four to make it 57-56 at the 4:14 mark. Miami’s defense held tough, allowing only four points the rest of the way. Another three-pointer from Dickerson put the RedHawks on top. A layup from Dickerson, followed by a triple from Purvis made it 64-58 with 2:09 to go. Ohio Dominican got an old-fashioned three-point play with a minute to go, but Miami’s defense forced it to miss a three-point at the buzzer to finish off the victory..
Purvis finished with 11 points, while Levering had 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. McDonagh had a team-high 10 rebounds, while Smith finished with six steals. .
Miami shot 40.7 percent (24-for-59) from the field, while holding ODU to 31.3 percent (21-for-67) shooting. The Panthers were led by Lauren Bates with 15 points and 10 rebounds..
The RedHawks begin the regular season on Friday when they travel to Austin Peay for a 2 p.m. (EST) game.