After snapping a two-game losing streak against Buffalo this week, the women’s basketball team faces a tough road test Saturday at Miami.
CMU is tied for second in the Mid-American Conference West with Ball State behind Toledo, who is 9-1 in the division. Miami is tied for second in the MAC East Division after losing two-straight to both division leaders Toledo and Akron.
This will be another challenging road matchup for the Chippewas, as Miami (14-9, 6-4 MAC) is 7-4 at home this season.
“We just have to execute our gameplan like we did against Buffalo,” said head coach Sue Guevara. “With Miami, we have to hit shots early. The last time that we played Miami, it was a whole year ago, and we were able to score.”
CMU is coming off a solid performance against Buffalo, including a 24-point, eight-rebound game from sophomore guard Crystal Bradford.
Sophomore forward Jas’Mine Bracey had a season-high 17 points on Saturday against the Bulls and has scored in double figures three of the last five games.
“(Bracey’s) stamina is better,” Guevara said. “Her confidence level is up, and she’s been finishing at the basket.”
Junior guard Jessica Green had another solid game, with a 17-point performance against Buffalo, her second-best scoring output of the season. She is fourth in the MAC in field goal percentage, at 52.8 percent, and second in three-point field goal percentage, at 48 percent.
The RedHawks come into the game as one of the better and more physical defensive teams in the conference. They rank third in the MAC in blocks per game (3.9) and fourth in both rebounds per game (38.9) and scoring defense (60.0).
Against a big and physical team like Miami, with five players above six-feet, you have to counter with an aggressive offensive attack and ability to attack the glass. Guevara said that controlling the paint and getting points inside will be key when playing Miami.
“We’ve been working on our defense and how to defend Osburn. They love the on-ball screen, they love the duck-in,” Guevara said. “Olowinski is really tough inside. We’ve been working on boxing out and working on our offense getting paint touches.”
The Chippewas rank first in the MAC in scoring with 77.1 points per game, rebounds per game (42.6) and blocks per game (4.6) and are second in steals per game (11.1). They have forced 76 turnovers and 46 steals in the last four games.
Defense intensity will be crucial as CMU will look to take control early and force turnovers and match the physicality of Miami. The RedHawks have 55 turnovers in their last three games.
Miami is also a good offensive team, ranking third in the MAC with 67.4 points per game and is second in field goal percentage at 44.4 percent.
Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Millett Hall in Oxford, Ohio.