MU comes up short in battle with Zips
Published: Monday, February 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013 23:02
The Miami University men’s basketball team dropped its second straight game, falling 54-50 to a University of Akron team that presented Miami with several size issues. The loss now puts the RedHawks at 8-14, 3-7 Mid-American Conference (MAC).
Scoring was hard to come by, as the Zips were able to find the bottom of the net after almost three minutes of action. The RedHawks were able to control the first half over an Akron team that featured two big men at 6 foot 11 inches and 7 feet. Scoring runs of 13-2 and a first half-ending 8-1 run were able to give Miami the lead, 25-16. Redshirt junior center Drew McGhee led all scorers at the half with eight points.
Akron came out firing in the second half, scoring six straight points to get within three. The game went back and forth, and Miami had a one-point lead, 43-42, with less than five minutes of action, but lost the lead, surrendering a three to the Zips. From there, Akron held the lead for good.
Redshirt junior guard Allen Roberts led Miami with 11 points, all in the last 20 minutes. Freshman guard Reggie Johnson and McGhee were the `Hawks’ only other double digit scorers with 10 each. Miami suffered yet another loss, after outrebounding the opponent, 32-30. Junior guard Quinten Rollins tied his career rebounding total with seven.
“You don’t need to have your butt out there if you’re going to be intimidated,” Head Coach John Cooper said. “Akron’s a good basketball team that’s well-coached, make no mistake about it. Their winning ways, it is a culture that Keith [Dambrot] has built and a testament to what he’s been able to do there. But the intimidation thing…I understand when people talk about that, but you play the game. That’s the bottom line. If you’re scared, there’s no need in going out there.”
Miami was unable to do significant damage in the paint, scoring just 10 points. A very big reason was seven-foot senior center Zeke Marshall, who had 4 blocks and influenced several shots in the paint.
“When he (Marshall) goes out, it’s a different game,” Cooper said. “To be able to protect the rim like he does is an unbelievable thing to have on your side.”
Zips Head Coach Keith Dambrot was also impressed with his center’s effort.
“He’s one of the best shot blockers in college basketball, or shot changers, whatever you want to say,” Dambrot said. “Now they put some up over him today, which was impressive. [But] that Zeke factor is a big deal, even if he scores no points. People have no idea.”
McGhee and senior center Vince Legarza gave valiant effort in defending and battling Marshall down low, especially helping the rebounding effort.
“I really don’t like Akron too much, and I wanted to knock them off today,” McGhee said. “I just went out and played the best I could in the minutes that I had. It’s just a mentality of toughness and knowing that we can get every rebound as long as we give a better effort than the other team.”
Miami now faces Kent State University in a road battle Wednesday that will pit two struggling teams against one another. The Golden Flashes are 13-11, 4-6 MAC, but feature junior forward Chris Evans and senior guard Randal Holt who average 16.8 and 14.1 points a contest, respectively. Kent is coming off a 15-point win vs. Central Michigan University, but has lost five of its last eight games. Miami won a tight game last season, 62-60. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.