The easiest way to snap a six-game losing streak is to never trail.
That's exactly what the Miami University men's basketball team did Wednesday night in a 71-60 wire-to-wire victory over Longwood University.
"We needed a win to get some confidence going," head coach John Cooper said. "It's a lot better feeling to learn from a win than a loss."
A pair of junior guards carried Miami, as Eric Washington and Geovonie McKnight each put up 19. Eleven of Washington's and 13 of McKnight's came in the second half.
"We just wanted to get a win," McKnight said. "To me, however it came, it didn't matter. I just wanted to get a win. Now, we can jus build off our win today."
Unlike past games, the RedHawks (3-7) jumped out to a hot start, going up 22-5.
"We tried to get out a good start," Washington said. "The last couple games we've kind of just had bad starts and had to play catch-up. We just wanted to hit them in the mouth first."
The Lancers (3-8) didn't quit though, battling back and cutting the lead to 31-21 at the half. Longwood trimmed the lead to single digits early in the second half, but Miami pulled away again quickly after that. The RedHawks extended their lead to game high 20 with over 15 minutes to play. Longwood cut the lead to single digits again late, as Miami struggled to get good looks.
"I thought we settled," Cooper said. "You look at the second half there was a point where it was jump shot, jump shot, jump shot, jump shot."
But, Miami was able to hold on thanks to big shots from McKnight, Washington and clutch free throw shooting. The 'Hawks hit 14 of their 18 shots from the charity stripe in the second half.
Miami cut down on its turnovers, especially in the second half. The RedHawks had 12 turnovers, only three of which came in the second half.
"After the first half I didn't think we were going to win the turnover battle …" Cooper said. "We've got to get out of the nonchalantness with the ball."
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Freshman forward Rod Mills had his best game as a RedHawk, putting up eight points in 11 minutes.
Miami's next game is a much harder challenge than Longwood: The RedHawks hit the road Monday to face Ohio State University.
"We're just focused on what we can do," Washington said. "Yeah, we play Ohio State, but if we have everything taken care of in our locker room, we can compete with anybody."