OXFORD, Ohio- It was a back-and-forth affair at Millett Hall on Wednesday night, one that saw the Miami University men's basketball team (7-8, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) come out on top of the Bowling Green Falcons (6-10, 1-2 MAC), 63-60. Junior forward Will Felder led the RedHawks with 20 points, a career high. Junior center Drew McGhee added a season-high 14 points off the bench to help Miami to its second straight victory.
After trailing most of the game, Felder nailed a jumper with two minutes remaining to hand the RedHawks a 61-60 lead. Freshman guard Geovonie McKnight had a pair of big defensive plays in the final 1:37, including taking a charge with 57 seconds left that set up junior guard Quinten Rollins' clutch jumper with 19 seconds left to give the RedHawks three-point cushion with a 63-60 lead.
Miami got off to a sluggish start and fell behind 9-0 before the RedHawks came back to score five unanswered points, all from Rollins. Felder threw down two monster dunks on consecutive possessions and junior forward Allen Roberts nailed a three to put Miami on top, 12-11, almost eight minutes into the half.
The Falcons proceeded to go on a 10-4 scoring run capped off by an explosive alley-oop to Richaun Holmes to regain the lead, 21-16, with just over seven minutes remaining. That was followed by back-to-back baskets from Bowling Green's leading scorer Jordan Crawford, the latter being a 3-pointer, to extend the Falcons' lead to 10 points.
Miami fought back to come within four points and went into halftime down by that margin, 34-30.
Despite the slow start for the RedHawks, they ended up shooting over 56 percent from the field in the first half, though that was still lower than the Falcons' 64 percent. Bowling Green's Crawford and A'uston Calhoun led all scorers with 13 points, while Miami's first half leading scorer was Roberts with nine.
Crawford continued his strong game by opening up the second half with a three. Miami scored 11 of the next 16 points, however, to pull within one, 42-41. It was Crawford again, though, who put Bowling Green back up by four with another trey. The RedHawks stayed close thanks to a great second-half performance from McGhee and found themselves tied at 55-55 with just over five minutes remaining in the game.
A jumper from Bowling Green's Calhoun put his team up by two, but he was quickly answered by Roberts to bring the score back to a tie, 57-57. Calhoun split his free-throw chances on the Falcons' next possession, and a layup from McGhee gave Miami its first lead since 12:41 of the first half. The two squads traded baskets that kept the RedHawk lead at one, 61-60, with 2:00 left.
With less than a minute remaining, Crawford turned the ball over to the RedHawks and, with the shot clock winding down, Rollins hit a jumper to put his team up 63-60 with just 19 seconds left on the clock. On what looked like the Falcons' final possession, Roberts stole the ball from Crawford and was sent to the charity stripe for an opportunity to ice the game. A missed free throw later and Bowling Green was heading down the court with one last shot, but it failed to capitalize and when the horn sounded the RedHawks were victorious, 63-60.
Felder and McGhee led Miami in scoring with 20 and 14 points, respectively. Roberts also ended up in double figures with 13 points. Felder also led the team with seven rebounds.
Crawford and Calhoun were Bowling Green's leading scorers, with each scoring 21 points. No other Falcon reached double digits.
This was the first game that Miami has won despite trailing at halftime this season. Tonight's game was also just the third time that the RedHawks have outrebounded an opponent this season, hauling in 24 rebounds compared to Bowling Green's 21.
Miami's next game is this Saturday at Eastern Michigan. The game is scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. After that, the RedHawks will return home for three straight games at Millett Hall, starting with a Wednesday tilt against rival Ohio on January 23, which starts at 7 p.m.