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Ringo and McLane combine for 41 to push Miami past Ball State

Matt Heckert - The Miami Student
Matt Heckert - The Miami Student

The Miami Basketball RedHawks (10-9, 3-3 Mid-American) restored their winning ways Saturday at Millett Hall with a 71-53 win over the Ball State Cardinals (12-7, 3-3 Mid-American). Junior guard Darrian Ringo and senior forward Logan McLane scored 21 and 20, respectively, to help the 'Hawks snap a two-game losing streak and get back to .500 in conference play.

"Ringo was special shooting the basketball today and Logan really stepped up and was a beast inside," Miami head coach Jack Owens said. "I'm just happy with the team effort overall. This is one of our better outings of the year."

Miami held a 40-33 lead with 17:10 left in regulation before Logan McLane got going offensively. After scoring seven in the first half, McLane exploded to start the second. He scored 12 straight Miami points to lead the Red and White during a 15-2 run from which Ball State never recovered.

"Oh man, I was energized," McLane said about his scoring outburst. "I was having fun out there."

Ball State got on the scoreboard first as a hookshot by junior center Trey Moses gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. Miami tied the game two possessions later on a layup by freshman guard Nike Sibande.

Darrian Ringo hit a three pointer on the RedHawks' ensuing possession to take their first lead of the contest. MU extended their lead to 12-8, but couldn't shake Ball State, who jumped out to 19-14 advantage with just over 10 minutes remaining in the half.

The 'Hawks battled back with a 16-4 run to take a 30-23 lead. Ball State kept it close, pulling within two with four minutes remaining, but Miami took a 37-30 lead into halftime.

Ringo's hot hand was crucial for Miami's offense in the first. He scored 13 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and was a perfect 3-of-3 from deep.

After Ball State scored three points to open the second half, Miami went on a dominant 15-2 run to push the score to 52-35. Sibande hit a three to start the spurt, but McLane scored 12 straight Miami points and collected two steals to finish.

Two made free throws by sophomore forward Bam Bowman extended the RedHawks' lead to a game-high 19 points at 62-43 with 8:13 left in regulation. The game was all Miami the rest of the way as it cruised to a 71-53 victory.

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Ball State outrebounded (35-28) and shot better from the field (48 percent-39 percent) than Miami did, but couldn't overcome turning the ball over 21 times and the RedHawks' uncharacteristically solid shooting from the free throw line (84 percent).

The win was important for the RedHawks, as it snapped a two-game losing skid and propelled them back to an even .500 in conference play. They're currently tied for second in the MAC's East division, trailing only Buffalo.

"It feels really good [to snap the losing streak]," McLane said. "We just had to protect the 'M' and learn from the past, which I think we did tonight."

Ringo finished with a career-high 21 points and added five steals and four assists, while McLane scored 20 and collected six rebounds and five steals. Other key RedHawk contributors were Bowman and Sibande, who reached double-digits with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Trey Moses led Ball State with 18 points on 9-10 shooting, while junior guard Taylor Persons finished second on the team with 12 points. Both players struggled with turnovers, combining for nine of Ball State's 21.

Miami now leads the all-time series versus the Cardinals 63-40.

The RedHawks travel to Central Michigan Tuesday to take on the Chippewas (13-6, 2-4 MAC). The game is slated to tip-off at 7 p.m. and will be available for streaming on ESPN3.