MIAMI HEADS WEST FOR SANTA CLARA SHOOTOUT:
After suffering a difficult loss
to Kentucky in its season opener, Miami University's women's basketball
team is looking for redemption at this weekend's Santa Clara Diet Coke
Shootout. The tournament, which is held in Santa Clara, Calif., also
includes Davidson, Denver and host Santa Clara. Fans back home can follow
Miami on WMOH radio, which will broadcast both contests. Game time is at 7
p.m. (PST) Saturday, with the consolation and championship rounds taking
place at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. (PST), respectively, on Sunday.
REDHAWKS CLASH WITH UNBEATEN BRONCOS:
Miami opens tournament play by taking
on the hosting Santa Clara Broncos. Fresh off a title at the Columbia
Classic, the Broncos enter the tournament with victories over Oakland and
Drexel. An NCAA Tournament qualifier during each of the last two seasons,
Santa Clara returns nine letterwinners from a squad that compiled 22 wins
Among the key returning players for the Broncos are junior Annie Garrison,
who averaged 12.0 points per game last season, senior Stephanie Rogers, who
netted 9.8 points per game, and senior Katie Pursley, who tallied 9.2
points per game. All three are averaging in double digits this season.
Santa Clara is coached by Caren Horstmeyer.
DAVIDSON AND DENVER CLASH IN SHOOTOUT:
Depending on the outcome of its game
on Saturday, Miami will face either Denver or Davidson on Sunday evening.
The RedHawks have never faced either of their potential second-round
Davidson enters the shootout with a 0-2 record after losing at Boston
College, 86-54, and against Wake Forest, 64-54, to open the season. The
Wildcats, who are coached by John Filar, are coming off an 18-10 mark last
season and return all but three letterwinners. Senior guard Jen O'Brien,
who averaged 12.4 points per contest last season, led the Wildcats with 18
and 22 points in those two contests.
Denver enters the tournament on a high note after shocking Colorado 71-67
in its season-opener. The Pioneers, who are mentored by Pam Tanner, are
coming off a 12-15 record last season and return four starters. Sophomore
guard Melissa Garcia and junior center Michaela Pavlickova led Denver in
the season- opener, netting 18 and 16 points.
REDHAWKS STRUGGLE IN SEASON-OPENING LOSS:
Miami University's women's
basketball team absorbed the worst season-opening loss in the program's
history last Monday, falling 77-39 to the University of Kentucky.
After falling behind 12-2 in the opening minutes of the contest, the
RedHawks assembled a brief rally to close to within 20-15 by the
seven-minute mark. Kentucky responded with a 26-6 run over the next 10
minutes to knock Miami out of the game. Slowed by an aggressive Wildcat
defense that forced 30 turnovers, the RedHawks recorded the second-lowest
point total in the their program's history. Miami shot just 23 percent
(16-69) and took its worst defeat since a 44-point loss at Duke in 1993.
Kentucky, which moved to 2-0 on the year, was led by four players in
double figures. Laura Meadows led the way with 18 points, while Erica
Jackson and Tanesha Seaton tallied 15 and Carolyn Alexander netted 10.
Miami, which placed only one player in double figures, was paced by AuBree
Hamilton's (Lima, Ohio/Bath) 16 points and nine rebounds.
MIAMI FALLS TO PREMIER ALL-STARS:
Miami University's women's basketball
team overcame a sluggish start but was unable to make up the difference in
a 99-91 exhibition loss to the Premier All-Stars.
After trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half, Miami overcame a
12-point halftime deficit to take a six-point lead with under six minutes
to play. The All-Stars responded with a 10-0 run over the next two minutes
to regain control and stifle the RedHawk rally.
Miami, which continued its success from beyond the three-point arc with 11
treys, was led on the night by five players in double figures. Junior Jenny
Martin (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) led the RedHawks with 19 points off
eight-of-12 shooting. AuBree Hamilton (Lima, Ohio/Bath) and Heather Cusick
(Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) each added 15 points, while Hollie Nelsen (Waupaca,
Wis./Waupaca) and Jana Butler (Findlay, Ohio/Liberty-Benton) added 12 and
11 points, respectively.
The Premier All-Stars were led by former Ohio State standout Larecha
Jones' 21 points.
HEAD COACH MARIA FANTANAROSA:
Now in her second season at the head of Miami
University's women's basketball program, Maria Fantanarosa is aiming to
keep the program on the rise. A former standout on the court at Miami,
Fantanarosa led the RedHawks to an 11-15 overall mark and 7-9 league record
last season, despite having just eight scholarship players on her roster.
The team ranked 24th nationally in three-point field goals made per game,
while AuBree Hamilton (Lima, Ohio/Bath) ranked fourth nationally in
rebounding and 23rd in blocked shots.
A 1990 graduate of Miami, Fantanarosa accepted the coaching position at
her alma mater following a season as head coach at Western Carolina. She
currently owns an overall coaching record of 18-36 (.333).
LIGHTING EM' UP:
Prior to hitting a brick wall versus Kentucky last Monday,
Miami had been demonstrating the same type of shooting skills that ranked
it 24th in the nation in made three-point field goals per game last season.
In two exhibition games, six RedHawks combined to total 23 three-point
field goals. Miami was 12-of-31 from three-point range versus the
Cincinnati Stars and hit 11-of-25 treys against the Premier All-Stars.
Leading the RedHawks from downtown was freshman Heather Cusick (Kokomo,
Ind./Kokomo), who had seven preseason treys, senior Jamie Stewart
(Rushville, Ind./Consolidated), who tallied six three-point bombs and
Hollie Nelsen (Waupaca, Wis./Waupaca) who hit five from beyond the arc.
In a dismal shooting night versus Kentucky, the RedHawks lost their
rhythm, connecting on just three-of-23 three-point attempts.
Last season, Miami averaged 6.04 three-point field goals per game. Stewart
and Nelsen led the team, averaging 2.31 and 1.83 treys per game,
respectively. The RedHawks averaged 18.67 three-point attempts per game as
REDHAWKS PICKED THIRD IN THE EAST:
Second-year Miami Head Coach Maria
Fantanarosa and her RedHawks won't be able to sneak up on many teams in
this season's Mid-American Conference race.
Miami, which finished fifth in the MAC's East Division last season, has
been selected to finish third in the East Division and fifth overall in a
preseason poll conducted by members of the MAC News Media Association. The
poll, which was announced Oct. 20 at the MAC's women's basketball media
day, selected defending East Division Champion Kent to repeat as division
champion, while Akron was picked to finish second.
In the West Division race, defending MAC Champion Toledo was picked first,
followed by Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Central
Michigan and Ball State. Kent was the overwhelming favorite to win the
first MAC Tournament Title of the new millennium, claiming 26 of the 34
first-place votes. Toledo, which was second in the tournament championship
voting, has collided with Kent in the championship game during each of the
past four seasons.
HAMILTON NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-MAC TEAM:
Expectations are already high for
Miami senior AuBree Hamilton (Lima, Ohio/Bath) who was named to the
preseason all-MAC team. Hamilton, who averaged a double-double a game last
season, is coming off a season in which she led the MAC in rebounding and
blocked shots. Nationally, Hamilton ranked fourth in rebounding and 23rd in
blocked shots. She was a second-team all-MAC selection last season and
established Miami single-season records for rebounding and blocked shots.
Joining Hamilton on the team were Kent's Dawn Zerman, Western Michigan's
Shelsea Erving, Eastern Michigan's Kristy Maska and Akron's Cheryl Bowles.
Hamilton is the first Miami player to be named to an all-MAC first team
since Monica Niemann in 1995.
SEASONED VETERANS LEAD HAWKS INTO 1999-2000 CAMPAIGN:
Miami may only
return six returning letterwinners, but, in this case, it's the quality and
not the quantity that counts. Of the RedHawks' six returners, five started
at least 12 games and all six played in more than 20 contests. Miami is led
by senior captains AuBree Hamilton (Lima, Ohio/Bath), Jamie Stewart
(Rushville, Ohio/Consolidated) and Lindsay Winkler (Anderson, Ind./Lapel).
Stewart and Winkler each started all 26 games during the 1998-99 season.
The RedHawks also return a very explosive junior class. Jenny Martin
(Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) and Hollie Nelsen (Waupaca, Wis./Waupaca)
both averaged in double digits last season, while Valerie Jones
(Elizabethtown, Ky./Elizabethtown) saw action in 22 games.
Of Miami's six returning players, all scored in double digits at least
once with four clearing the 20-point barrier during the season. Four of
Miami's returning letterwinners averaged in double digits last season.
Martin led the RedHawks during the preseason, averaging 14.5 points per
game, while Hamilton averaged 14.0 and Nelsen and Stewart contributed 11.5
REDHAWKS LOOK FOR NEWCOMERS TO MAKE IMPACT:
With just six returning
letterwinners, Miami is expecting big things from a freshman class that was
ranked as one of the top 75 recruiting classes in the nation.
One of the keys to the upcoming season will be the development of three
freshman post players. Jana Butler (Findlay, Ohio/Liberty-Benton), a 6-2
all-Ohio selection, Andrea Pruett (Canton, Mich./Plymouth Salem), a 6-1
all-Michigan honoree and Kelli Stamper (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic),
an honorable mention all-USA Today selection, are all expected to add depth
to the RedHawk interior.
Miami's perimeter game will also benefit from some strong additions.
All-Indiana selections Heather Cusick (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) and Beth
Roederer (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) both bring deep three-point range
and strong defensive skills to the Miami lineup. Sophomore Kristolyn Curtis
(Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton), another addition to the Miami guard court, is
expected to help the RedHawk transition game with her athleticism.
"These six newcomers give us the dimensions that were our biggest
weaknesses last season," Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa said. "We'll be
deeper and more skilled at every position. These are players with good
basketball heads and good basketball ability."
During the exhibition season, Miami's freshmen performed admirably.
Butler, Stamper and Cusick all scored in double digits in at least one
game, with Cusick placing third on the team with a 12.5 points per game
HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING:
Miami doesn't have the luxury of easing into
its 1999-2000 schedule. The RedHawks opened the season last Monday versus
Kentucky, which was ranked 32nd in the nation in the USA Today/ESPN
preseason poll. From there, Miami travels to Santa Clara, Calif., to
compete in the Santa Clara Diet Coke Shootout. The RedHawks tangle with
host Santa Clara, a 1999 NCAA Qualifier, in the first round. In the second
round, Miami will face Denver or Davidson.
In all, eight of Miami's potential opponents this year won at least 18
games last season. Four of Miami's 1999-2000 opponents (Kent, Kentucky,
Santa Clara and Xavier) received votes in a preseason poll.
REDHAWKS ON THE RISE:
Several Miami players are aiming to continue their
climbs on the Miami career all-time lists. AuBree Hamilton (Lima,
Ohio/Bath) currently is tied for seventh-all time in rebounds (550) and is
on pace to move into the top three. Hamilton is fifth on the career blocked
shots list (84) and needs 47 rejections to tie Amy Franz (1984-88) for the
Senior Jamie Stewart (Rushville, Ind./Consolidated) is within striking
distance of Miami's three-point shooting records. The senior needs 153
attempts and 63 makes to tie Lisa Hayden (1991-95) in both categories.
Hollie Nelsen (Waupaca, Wis./Waupaca) also is climbing on Miami's career
three-point shooting lists. The junior ranks seventh in made three-point
field goals (58) and fifth in attempts (193).
Miami's women's basketball program has found the state of
Indiana to be a very fertile recruiting ground. Jenny Martin (Greenwood,
Ind./Center Grove), Jamie Stewart (Rushville, Ind./Consolidated) and
Lindsay Winkler (Anderson, Ind./Lapel) are joined this season by fellow
Hoosier State standouts Heather Cusick (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) and Beth
Roederer (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral). All five were all-Indiana
selections while in high school.
The RedHawk roster is further broken down with three Ohio natives (AuBree
Hamilton, Jana Butler and Kristolyn Curtis) two Kentucky natives (Valerie
Jones and Kelli Stamper) and one Wisconsin native (Hollie Nelsen).
REDHAWKS SIGN THREE OHIO STANDOUTS:
Miami University women's basketball
coach Maria Fantanarosa announced recently the signing of three Ohio
standouts to national letters of intent. Colleen Day (Independence,
Ohio/Holy Name), Kim Lancaster (Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton) and Melanie
Kozlowski (Parma Heights, Ohio/Holy Name) combine to form a 1999 recruiting
class that has Fantanarosa excited.
Lancaster, a 6-foot-1 forward, is entering her senior season at
Cincinnati's Princeton H.S., where she has helped the Lady Vikings to a
two-year record of 43-4 and back-to-back Greater Miami Conference titles.
Ranked as one of the top 100 senior prospects in the nation by All-Star
Girls Report, Lancaster has been among Princeton's top two in scoring,
rebounding and field goal percentage during each of her first three seasons.
Day and Kozlowski, who are both in their senior years at Holy Name H.S.,
comprise one of the strongest prep tandems in Ohio. Last season, the duo
led the Green Waves to a 24-1 overall record and a trip to the Ohio
Day, a six-foot forward, was a third-team all-Ohio selection last season,
averaging 15.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game. A two-sport
standout, Day has been a fixture on the varsity level in both basketball
and volleyball since her freshman year.
Kozlowski, a 6-foot-1 guard, earned second-team all-Ohio plaudits last
season, tallying 19.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.5 assists per
game. The MVP of the North Coast League last season, Kozlowski shot 52
percent from the field during her junior campaign.
MIAMI WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CELEBRATES 25TH SEASON:
During the 1999-2000
academic year, the Miami Athletic Department is pleased to recognize the
impact of women's intercollegiate athletics at Miami.
The first female student was admitted to Miami University in 1887, but it
was not until 1975 that the women's program was "officially" recognized as
part of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Since that time the
program has grown to eleven sports.
Miami's women's basketball team was one of the original women's programs
installed at Miami. In the past 25 years, the program has earned three MAC
regular season titles and compiled an overall record of 377-290.