Tretter scored a career-high 27 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and logged an exhausting 38 minutes before fouling out late in the RedHawks’ 64-59 loss to the Chippewas on Wednesday night at Millett Hall.
Miami (4-15, 2-7 Mid-American Conference) has lost three straight but is continually making strides during a trying season under first-year coach Glenn Box.
“We just need to bounce back from here. We need to keep getting into the gym and getting reps in,” Tretter said. “We have to stay with each other — not let losses get to us that much and learn from them instead. We need to keep encouraging each other to work hard and make sure we’re all individually getting better.”
Central Michigan (5-14, 3-6 Mid-American Conference) has won 18 of the last 22 meetings against Miami and snapped its two-game losing streak in Oxford.
“Teams that are winning teams — things will a lot of times through hard work will work in their favor,” Box said. “When you’re struggling, things like kids who shouldn’t make three 3s in the first five minutes make three 3s in the first five minutes of the game.”
CMU’s Karrington Gordon did just that. The junior guard knocked down three quick treys to get the Chippewas rolling, and the RedHawks found themselves in a 14-0 hole early.
It wasn’t until Nuria Jurjo’s layup with 4:11 left in the opening quarter that gave Miami its first points.
“It kind of put us on our heels,” Box said. “The next thing you know, we’re chasing 14. We made it to the media (timeout) down 14-2 and didn’t want to burn a timeout. It just felt like we were going to get back into the game — which we did.”
And it didn’t take long.
Tretter scored five of her points during an 8-0 run in the second period, and the RedHawks knotted it up at 30-30 just before the half.
“I felt like for the most part, we worked extremely hard to get back in the game,” Box said. “We did the things we should do. Then we had breakdowns defensively — a lack of toughness, I feel like.”
Gordon scored 14 of her 19 points in the first half. Tiana Timpe added 14 points and Lisa Tesson bucketed all 12 of her points in the second half for Central Michigan.
The RedHawks continued to feed Tretter, who knocked down three jumpers to start the third quarter. Hennessey Luu-Brown’s layup gave Miami its largest lead at 38-32 to cap off an 8-0 run.
Luu-Brown hit a jumper that tied it up at 53-53 midway through the fourth, but the Chippewas outscored the RedHawks 11-6 in the final four minutes.
Cori Lard had 12 points and Luu-Brown finished with 10 for Miami, which was outrebounded 47-29. Central Michigan shot 10 of 22 (45.5%) from 3-point range.
Tretter is making a statement in just her first collegiate season. The 6-foot-1, Ferdinand, Ind., product has nine double-digit scoring performances while shooting over 50% in eight of her last 13 games.
“She probably could have had 35 if we threw it to her when she was open sometimes,” Box said of Tretter. “We tried to get her involved early. She started a little slow, but we’re trying to get her the ball.
“She’s our best player. She did a great job for us tonight. We certainly had traction. Sometimes I think we forget that she finds a way to get open a lot of times, and we missed her on some possessions.”
Box said the transition into the head coaching role at Miami has been a seamless one. He spent the previous seven seasons with Indiana’s women’s basketball program — including the last four as associate head coach — before being hired in May.
“Speaking for me and my staff, we’re definitely settled in,” he said. “I definitely feel comfortable in my surroundings. I know that good times are going to come. It is a process. I get it. It doesn’t happen overnight. But I signed up for it. I’m ready for it.”
Jadyn and Jada Scott, who are twin sisters, were four-year letterwinners for the Cincinnati Bearcats before joining Miami. The duo combined to play in 194 games in their career at UC.
In their first year with the RedHawks, they rank first and fifth for Miami in scoring. Jadyn averages 10.1 points a game, while Jada averages 5.7.
Miami is rebuilding its program and searching for its first winning season since 2018-2019.
“We’re trying to get kids who haven’t been in certain situations and do way more than what they’re accustomed to doing,” Box said. “They’re just learning. It’s a process. It’s the little things — and even the expectation of actually having to put the ball in the basket is a big thing.
“We’re learning. We’re getting better, and we’ll move this program forward.”
Miami travels to Akron on Saturday for a 3 p.m. tip. The RedHawks then return home for three straight, hosting Buffalo (Feb. 7), Georgia State (Feb. 10) and Western Michigan (Feb. 17).