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RedHawks fall to BGSU

Senior Staff Writer

Published: Friday, March 1, 2013

Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 00:03

basketball

Lauren Olson | Photography Editor

Miami University junior guard Quinten Rollins rises up for a shot against Akron University. Rollins is averaging two steals per game and almost four assists in addition to 5.5 points a game. However, he is shooting only 45 percent from the free throw line.

The Miami University men’s basketball team let another winnable game slip through its hands Wednesday night, as it dropped a 52-44 decision to Mid-American Conference (MAC) rival Bowling Green State University (12-16, 6-7 MAC). Miami has now lost its last 10 of 11 games, and holds an 8-18 overall and 3-10 MAC record.

“Not very good,” Head Coach John Cooper said. “Not good enough. That’s all I can tell you. It was just tough to watch, absolutely tough to watch.”

In their second game against the Falcons this season, the RedHawks again fell apart in the second half. The ’Hawks got off to a fast start, taking an early three point lead. After Bowling Green claimed a 16-15 lead, Miami went on a 10-0 with under five minutes to play. Miami’s defense was big, forcing nine turnovers, including six steals. The first half ended as Miami held a seven-point advantage, 31-24.

Bowling Green was able to reverse its fortunes in the second half, completely shutting down Miami. The Falcons went on an immediate 7-0 run to tie the game at 31. Miami finally found the bottom of the net after nearly six minutes into the second half.

As has been the case much of the season, the game teetered back and forth for several minutes, but Miami’s energy seemed to vanish after taking a 42-40 lead off a one-handed put back dunk by redshirt junior forward Will Felder. Miami was held to just two points over the last eight minutes of play.

“We just had a lack of energy in the second half,” junior guard Quniten Rollins said. “I don’t know why. It’s been like that the last couple games. At halftime, we have great energy. In the second half, we come out and have a little drag and that just gives them a spark, and then it’s just too late to get anything back.”

Miami shot just 18-54 on the night, making six shots in the second half. The RedHawks also continued to struggle from deep, making two of 12 attempts, while shooting 40 percent from the foul line.

The Falcons’ senior guard, Jordan Crawford, who scored 21 points in the first meeting, scored 19.

Redshirt junior guard Allen Roberts led Miami with 16 points, the only RedHawk to reach double figures.

“You’ve got to grind for 40 minutes, and this was a grind win,” Bowling Green Head Coach Louis Orr said. “I give our guys credit for grinding. We’ll take the win and try to keep moving.”

Cooper lamented his team’s sloppy play in the latter 20 minutes.

“I didn’t like our start to the second half,” Cooper said. “Then we were taking bad shots and being selfish. We miss layups, we miss free throws, so how do you win? I thought we played well in the first half.”

The 44 points was the second lowest point total for Miami this season, ahead of its 39 point showing at Louisville on Nov. 18. Miami is now 0-2 in rematch games this season.

“Losing does get contagious, but at the same time, we’re not losers,” Rollins said. “We’ve got a bunch of winners in that locker room that want to win. We believe in ourselves. We’re going to keep fighting.”

Miami was without redshirt junior center Drew McGhee, who tore an ACL in practice. McGhee shoot 56 percent from the floor and 79 percent from the charity stripe. McGhee is the second player to tear an ACL this season, as redshirt junior forward Bill Edwards’ season was ended in the fifth game.

“Certainly we miss him, but Drew’s not going to help us make the bunnies that we’re missing,” Cooper said.

Miami now hosts Kent State University Saturday in yet another MAC East rematch. The Golden Flashes handed Miami a 17-point loss just over two weeks ago. The RedHawks played well, scoring 70 points, but allowed a crippling 10 three-point shots, en route to the loss. Despite the team struggling, players are confident that they can head into the MAC Tournament on a good note.

“We’re going to embrace it,” Rollins said. “We’ll find some good in those games and get one of them, or all of them, and get rolling into the tournament. That’s arguably the best three teams in the MAC, and I wouldn’t want it any other way going into the tournament because then we’ve seen the best.”

Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. Saturday. Miami will honor senior Vince Legarza for Senior Day, and will hold a halftime ceremony for legendary coach Charlie Coles. Fans can listen to the game at www.redhawkradio.com.

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