By Aubrey Hopkins
Coming into Wednesday night’s game on a three-game losing streak, someone on the Miami University of Ohio women’s basketball team had to step up. Fortunately, it was senior guard Jenna Schone.
Schone, the fifth leading scorer in the Mid-American Conference averaging 16.1 points per game, took over the game at the end of the first half and set the tone early in the second half. All on the way to scoring 22 points and handing out five assists for the RedHawks (12-9, 4-4 MAC), who snapped its three game losing streak with a 69-63 win over the Western Michigan University Broncos (5-16, 1-7 MAC).
Down 22-16 in the first half, Schone scored seven straight points and added two assists on the next two RedHawk baskets to tie the game at 30-30 with 4:47 left in the first half.
The RedHawks came into the second half leading 35-32 and Schone made sure it would stay that way, coming right out of half time and hitting a three-pointer that would extend its lead to six. However, even with the Broncos run towards the end of the game, it was not enough, as the RedHawks would hit its free throws down the stretch.
However, Schone didn’t just do it on offense. In perhaps the biggest defensive play of the game, Schone gave up her body to take a charge from WMU senior guard Tiera DeLaHoussaye that would foul DeLaHoussaye out of the game.
“We had to pick her up at our free throw line,” head coach Maria Fantanarosa said. “Just because of how quick she is. I have to give Jenna Schone credit because she was guarding her the majority of the time.”
Although the RedHawks did not shoot well all night, their hustle on defense forced 20 turnovers from the
Broncos and they capitalized on it, scoring 17 points off WMU turnovers. Fantanarosa said that was the difference in the game.
“We were able to play better team defense,” Fantanarosa said. “The deflections led to steals and that gave us more opportunities on the offensive end.”
While Schone took over the game with her scoring and passing, Fantanarosa said there were other players that, while they may have not scored many points, had a lot to do with the win.
Senior center Stephanie Ford was a force to be reckoned with on the low block, scoring 11 points and adding a game-high nine rebounds, all while playing the majority of the game in foul trouble.
Fantanarosa said Ford’s presence inside was extremely important for their team.
“Stephanie Ford has become our go to player inside,” Fantanarosa said. “She did a great job rebounding and a great job finishing inside.”
“After Jenna Schone, [junior forward] Ashleigh Brown probably had our second best game for who she is, all the little things like deflections and steals. Even though she doesn’t score, I was definitely very pleased with her.”
The RedHawks bench played very well, led by Brown’s five steals. They also got four steals from freshman guard Maggie Boyer.