BG faces noon tipoff at Miami

Tara Jones and Tara Jones

The Falcons will have to overcome a noon tipoff Wednesday in Oxford to continue climbing to the top of the conference.

The BG women’s basketball team will take to the road to face Miami University on March 5 in their second-to-last matchup of the year in regular season.

The 25-3 Falcons are currently on an 11-game winning streak, most recently claiming a home victory against Ohio University March 2 on Senior Day.

The Falcons have surpassed last year’s win total from last season when they finished 24-11 overall. BG still has at least three games remaining with two regular-season matches left and at least one MAC tournament game to increase their win total.

With a 15-1 Mid-American Conference record, BG has already clenched at least a share of the MAC East Division for the ninth time in the last 10 years. The Falcons are two games ahead of second-place Akron, who the Falcons will close the regular season against on Saturday.

The RedHawks enter Wednesday’s matchup at 7-20 overall and 3-13 in MAC play. They returned nine letterwinners, including three starters, from a 2012-13 team that finished 19-13 overall and went 10-6 in the conference.

Miami is currently trying to reverse its seven-game losing streak, their most recent loss coming at home to Buffalo by a score of 61-74. The RedHawks are 4-8 at home and 3-12 on the road overall.

The RedHawks have conference victories at home against Akron and Kent State and on the road at Eastern Michigan.

Miami’s home conference losses include Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Ball State and Buffalo. Their road losses have come at Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan, Buffalo, BG, Central Michigan, Kent State and Akron.

Following its matchup with BG, Miami will close out its regular season at home against Ohio.

The Falcons lead the overall series 46-27 between the two teams, including a commanding win earlier this season on Feb. 9 at the Stroh Center by a score of 91-45. Last season, Miami became the first team to defeat BG twice in the same season since the 2004-05 season. The RedHawks took the first meeting of last year’s season 57-54 at the Stroh on Jan. 24 before earning a 76-61 victory in Oxford on Feb. 23.

BG head coach Jennifer Roos said that she knows Miami will come out playing their best, as they always do, especially in Oxford. A noon tip off will be a challenge for the team, which Roos said is not a morning team. The early tipoff will also throw off the team’s schedule, not allowing them time for an official shoot around before the game.

“It’s a difficult place to play,” Roos said. “Something about that arena has always been a nemesis for our program throughout the years.”

With the Falcons’ success thus far in the MAC, they have secured a few byes in the conference tournament, something that Roos said is great for their team to allow time to recover. However, she said their work is not done.

“We still have the chance of finishing anywhere between three, two or one [in the conference],” Roos said. “Nothing’s finalized, just like every other MAC season.”

Roos said that across the MAC, seeding will likely come down to the last game for a majority of the teams.

“I think that’s a great sign for our conference that it goes all the way down to the wire with everybody and it just makes for a competitive atmosphere,” Roos said.

Following their matchup with Miami, the Falcons will continue their journey on the road to Akron on March 8 to finish out the regular season.