Miami Shoots Past Falcons, 76-61 - Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Courtesy: BGSU Sports Information

Miami Shoots Past Falcons, 76-61

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OXFORD, Ohio Miami University's Courtney Osborn scored 33 points, leading the hot-shooting RedHawks to a 76-61 win over the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team Saturday afternoon (Feb. 23). The Mid-American Conference game was held at Millett Hall.

With the win, MU improves to 16-10 overall, while the Falcons drop to 17-9. Both teams are 8-5 in MAC action. BGSU and Miami are a game behind the University of Akron (9-5 MAC) in the East Division race.

Junior Jillian Halfhill led the Falcons with a career-high 23 points, and also paced BG with seven rebounds.

The 15-point loss marked BGSU's largest margin of defeat this season, and the Falcons' biggest loss to a MAC team in over five years.

Miami is the first team to defeat BG two times in a season since Eastern Michigan swept the Falcons during the 2004-05 regular-season schedule.

Osborn scored 22 of her 33 points in the first half. The senior, who had become her school's all-time scoring leader in the RedHawks' previous game, surpassed the 2,000-point mark for her career during the opening half of Saturday's game.

The RedHawks shot 55.8 percent for the game, going 17-of-31 (54.8%) in the first half and 12-of-21 (57.1%) in the second. The hosts made nine three-point field goals in 19 attempts.

The Falcons took an early 10-5 lead, but MU went on a 14-0 run to take the lead for good. BG got as close as four points with nine minutes left before halftime, but a late Osborn three-pointer gave the RedHawks a nine-point advantage at the intermission. Miami scored the first four points of the second half, and the Falcons never cut the deficit to single digits the rest of the afternoon.

Osborn made 12 of her 17 field-goal attempts in the game, and went 7-of-9 from three-point land. She also was credited with seven assists.

Erica Almady had 13 points for the RedHawks, going 6-of-7 from the field, while Kirsten Olowinski had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Fifth-year senior Danielle Havel and redshirt junior Alexis Rogers scored nine points apiece for the Falcons.

BGSU scored the first four points of the day, as Steffen knocked down a pair of free throws and Halfhill hit a contested runner. Moments later, Rogers found Havel inside for a reverse layup and a 6-2 lead.

Osborn answered with her first triple of the day, but Rogers backed her defender down for a layup, and a Havel baseline drive and banker gave the Brown and Orange a 10-5 lead at the 15:52 mark. After that bucket, however, the Falcons would go exactly five minutes without scoring another point.

Haley Robertson began MU's 14-point run with a jumper, and after BGSU missed three layups on the next possession, Hannah Robertson hit a trey to tie the game. Hannah Robertson made it five-straight points, hitting a layup at the 14:34 mark that gave MU the lead for good.

Osborn then scored five consecutive points, and a layup by Olowinski gave MU a 19-10 lead with 11:27 left before halftime.

Halfhill split a pair of free throws to end BG's scoring drought, but another Osborn three gave the RedHawks a double-digit lead for the first time, 22-11. The Falcons then used three successive three-point trips down the floor to cut the lead to just four points.

First, Halfhill hit an 'and-one' layup, making the ensuing free throw. Then, after a Miami miss, sophomore Deborah Hoekstra was fouled on a three-point try, sending her to the free-throw line. Hoekstra made all three shots to cut MU's lead to 22-17.

Almady answered with a layup, but Rogers took a pass from freshman Bailey Cairnduff and scored while being fouled by Osborn. The Rogers free throw got BG to within four points, 24-20, with 8:55 on the clock.

Osborn came back with a three, and after a Rogers layup, Olowinski scored in the paint for a 29-22 MU advantage.

A Havel short-corner jumper got BG within five points, but Osborn knocked down her fifth three-pointer of the half. Halfhill answered with a three of her own, but an Osborn jumper began a 6-0 run that gave MU a 38-27 lead.

Halfhill drove and scored off glass, and after a Steffen steal, Halfhill knocked down a three-point try with just under a minute to go. Each team was stopped on its next possession, and Osborn knocked down yet another three-ball with 3.4 seconds left in the half.

The Falcons quickly inbounded the ball, and a shot by Halfhill, taken from the right sideline near midcourt, banked off the glass and caromed through the hoop. The shot was initially waved off by the officials, who then went to the video monitor. However, no video of the shot was available, and it was ruled that Halfhill's shot did not count.

The second half saw MU score the first four points of the period to take a double-figure lead. The margin stayed between 11 and 14 points until an Almady layup gave the 'Hawks a 55-40 advantage with 11:04 left. That shot was part of a 7-0 MU run that put the hosts ahead by a game-high 19 points.

The Falcons cut the lead to 13 points with 5:28 to go, after a pair of Cairnduff free throws and a jumper by junior Jill Stein, and Steffen stole the ball from Osborn on the next possession. But, BG turned the ball right back over, and an Osborn three gave MU a 14-point lead.

Halfhill knocked down a triple try at the 3:37 mark, but MU responded with four-straight points before another Halfhill trey with 3:02 remaining. The junior point guard split a pair of free throws to cut Miami's lead to 11 points with 1:42 on the clock, but BG would draw no closer.

Saturday's result was BGSU's largest margin of defeat in a MAC game since a 68-47 setback at Ball State on Jan. 26, 2008.

The Falcons had a 36-32 rebounding advantage, with 14 offensive boards to MU's four. BG had a 12-4 edge in second-chance points and a 14-4 lead in bench scoring. But, the Brown and Orange shot just 33.3% for the game.

Miami, as mentioned, became the first team to defeat the Falcons twice in a season since Eastern Michigan in the 2004-05 campaign. The Eagles won both regular-season meetings, but the Falcons bounced back with a 77-57 win in the semifinal round of the 2005 MAC Tournament.

The 2012-13 Falcons return home for the next two games, beginning with a Thursday (Feb. 28) contest vs. the University at Buffalo. That game will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Stroh Center.