CLARKSVILLE, TENNESSEE — Trailing by six midway through the third quarter, the Miami women’s basketball team closed out the game on a 30-9 run to top Austin Peay, 73-58, on opening day.
The win gives the RedHawks their second opening day win in the past three seasons. It is also the second-straight season Miami has won its first road game.
“We showed some toughness today,” head coach Cleve Wright said. “After getting down six in the second half, we started getting stops. Offensively, we got good lucks at the basket both inside and from the three-point line. A strength of our team is our depth and that showed up today. That will help us if we get into foul trouble and it will let us play fast.”
Things started slowly offensively for the Red and White as they connected on just one of their first 10 shots from the floor. After grabbing an early 4-3 lead, the Governors scored the next seven points to take a 10-4 lead just over four minute in. A Kristen Levering jumper and Kayla Brown three cut the gap to one, but that was as close as Miami got the rest of the quarter as Austin Peay took a 20-16 lead into the break.
Trailing 26-21 in the second, the RedHawks went used some long range shooting to go on a 9-0 run. Jazz Smith connected on a three-pointer to start it and after Miami split a trip to the stripe, Brown drained a three and made a layup to give it a 30-26 lead with 4:23 left until halftime. The teams continued going back and forth throughout the half and eventually the teams reached halftime tied at 35 apiece.
A spurt of big runs highlighted a hectic third quarter as after Miami grabbed a 41-37 lead thanks to a layup, free throw and three by Leah Purvis, Austin Peay countered with a 12-2 run to go up 49-43 midway through the frame. The RedHawks closed the quarter with a furious run. Levering started the comeback with a three-pointer and after Lauren Dickerson’s layup cut the deficit to one, Brown dialed from long distance to give them a 51-49 lead. Miami ultimately closed the quarter on a 12-0 run to take a 55-49 lead after 30 minutes.
Miami’s run eventually extended to 18-0 as Megan Galloway split a pair of free throws and made a layup while Smith’s trifecta with 7:46 left bulked its lead to 61-49. That deficit proved too much for Austin Peay to overcome as the RedHawks never allowed the Governors to get closer than nine points while leading by as many as 18 the rest of the way. MU ended up outscoring APSU 30-9 over the final 14:45 to open the season with the road victory.
Two RedHawks finished the game in double figures, led by Purvis’ 17 points. Brown chipped in 13 on an efficient 5-of-8 shooting line (3-of-4 from three). In her first official game, Dickerson just missed a double-double, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds while dishing out six assists. Galloway also pulled down 10 rebounds and fell two points shy of a double-double herself. Miami shot 40 percent from the floor while holding Austin Peay to 29.7 percent shooting. After yielding seven three pointers in the first half, the RedHawks put the clamps down on the perimeter and allowed just one more three pointer in the second while going 12-of-29 (41.4 percent) themselves from long distance versus the Governors 8-of-32 (25 percent) line. Miami hit 9-of-15 (60 percent) free throws against Austin Peay’s 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) clip. The Red and White held a 48-45 edge in rebounding, though committed 18 turnovers while forcing just 11 miscues.
Miami continues its season-opening three-game road trip on Tuesday when it heads to Northern Kentucky. Opening tipoff is at 7 p.m. and it will air live on ESPN3.