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Women’s basketball heads to Oxford to take on Red Hawks

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Alexis Rogers goes up for a layup against Ohio’s Tenishia Benson. BG won, 61-49.

They are the only two teams undefeated in the Mid-American Conference.

Both BG and Miami hold 14-3 overall records, and they will pair up for a conference-changing matchup Thursday.

Statistically they even out, but Miami has the home court advantage.

Head coach Curt Miller said he hopes there is a big crowd, and both teams are intense and focused from the beginning.

“Both teams deserve a great crowd,” Miller said.

This will be the close of the Falcons’ two-game road trip.

The RedHawks are too good of an offensive team and are going to make shots, and the last thing the Falcons want to do is send them to the foul line, Miller said.

“They’re big, they can rebound, they get great scores across the board,” Miller said. “We’re not going to be able to hold them down like some of the teams we have.”

An advantage that Miami doesn’t have, however, is Alexis Rogers.

The powerhouse transfer from Duke was named MAC East Player of the Week for the second time this season after her efforts in BG’s last two wins – Ohio and Buffalo.

Against Ohio, Rogers earned her third consecutive double-double, the longest streak of a BG player since 1998.

In the team’s most recent win in Buffalo, Rogers added 19 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes; she leads the team in rebounds and is ranked second in rebounding in the MAC.

Overall in the two games she shot 50 percent from the field; she is currently averaging a double-double per MAC game with 19 points and 10.8 rebounds.

Miami averages 70 points per game, with their lead scorer, Courtney Osborne, putting up 18.4 each game.

Osborne recently broke the MAC scoring single game record with 48 points.

Miller said he wants to try to keep her off balance, give her a lot of looks and make her work for her points.

“They’ve got great balance but are led by arguably one of the best players in the league, Courtney Osborne,” Miller said.

Both teams have three players averaging double digits. Including Osborne, Miami also has Kirsten Olowinski, 11.8, and Maggie Boyer, 10.9, above 10 points per game.

“[Olowinski] proves that she is just as good as any post player in the league and is just a double-double machine,” Miller said.

BG point leaders are Chrissy Steffen, Rogers, and Jessica Slagle – 14.9, 11.3, and 10.5, respectively.

Miller said he picked Miami to win it all for the second year in a row.

“I think coming in they were clearly the most experienced and veteran and deep and talented team in the east,” Miller said. “I clearly believe that their chemistry has really really improved.”

He said it was not a surprise to their staff or players that they got off to such an explosive start. When everyone was graduating seniors, Miami was young, and Miller said that youth has turned into experience.

“It’s something that you just can’t always measure with a naked eye,” Miller said.

Even though it is early in conference play, Miller said he has looked ahead to the championships. He said everyone fights to be seeds 1-4 because once you become the number five seed, it’s a tough road.

You need five straight wins, and while it has been done before, he said it’s not likely.

Currently BG sits among the top four seeds.

“It’s going to be a dog fight and a scramble to stay in that top four,” Miller said.

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