The Miami RedHawks came into the contest sitting at 15-4 overall all, and 6-2 in conference play. Along with a solid chance at a MAC regular season title and one of the 4 byes, Miami is also trying to gain the attention of the NCAA selection committee. They were sitting at 54th in RPI rankings. While they have a long way to climb, a bunch of winnable games before closing with Buffalo and Ohio in two of their last three provides the opportunity.
Standing in their way tonight was a pesky Eastern Michigan Eagles team that was 10-9 overall and 3-5 in MAC play. However, that record is a bit misleading, as these birds have teeth. Of their 5 conference losses, two were in overtime, including a game against the Buffalo Bulls. Also in there was a loss on the road against Central Michigan.
The game started close and stayed that way through most of the first half. A jumper by Courtnie Lewis put the Eagles up 25-24 with 5:17 left in the second period and started a run. A three by Lewis put EMU up 35-26 with 1:44 before intermission. It was her 6th point of the run. Lauren Dickerson hit a layup with under a minute to give us the half time score of 35-28.
Miami battled back in the third quarter and eventually took the lead. The fourth quarter saw 4 ties and a boat load of lead changes before Miami pulled out the win, 63-58. A huge rebound by Kristen Levering, followed immediately by an EMU foul, and then a bench technical, with 4 seconds left put the game away for Miami. Going into the possession, the RedHawks were up just 2.
Levering finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Kendall McCoy added 12 points and 9 rebounds, while Dickerson matched her jersey number with 13. She also added 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
Eastern Michigan was paced by Lewis with 18. Corrione Cardwell pitched in 17 and Autumn Hudson led all rebounders with 11.