Miami hosts Southern Illinois
Sunday, December 29 - 3:30 p.m. (DH)
Millett Hall - Oxford, Ohio
Live Video Stream: Miami All-Access (subscription) on www.MURedHawks.com
Radio: Miami IMG Sports Network (WMOH 1450 Hamilton; WFMG 101.3 Richmond; WONE 980 Dayton; WDBZ 1230 Cincinnati)
REDHAWKS ROUND OUT 2013 HOSTING SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Miami returns to Millett Hall to host Southern Illinois on Sunday, Dec. 29 at 3:30 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader with Miami’s women’s team hosting Cleveland State at 1 p.m. Miami is coming off a strong 79-64 win at Tennessee State for the RedHawks’ first road win of the season, and the RedHawks have won three of their last five. Southern Illinois enters Sunday’s game on a two-game win streak but is searching for its first road win of the season.
20/20 VISION: Junior guard Will Sullivan recorded his second 20-point scoring effort in five games, pouring in 21 points to lead the RedHawks at Tennessee State. Sullivan scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half. Sullivan shot a solid 66.7 percent from the field against the Tigers.
TOP ‘HAWK: Entering the weekend, sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight sits atop the Mid-American Conference statistical rankings, leading the MAC in steals per game (2.3), which ranks 27th nationally.
ABOUT THE SALUKIS: Southern Illinois owns a 4-8 record entering Sunday’s game winning its last two against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, 74-57, on Dec. 23 and 66-58 against Ball State on Dec. 21. The Salukis are led by Desmar Jackson, who averages 20.3 ppg. Jalen Pendleton and Anthony Beane follow with 12.3 and 11.8 ppg, respectively. Although SIU has lost eight games, its scoring margin against its opponents is +0.5 ppg with its opponents averaging 69.1 ppg and the Salukis averaging 69.6 ppg.
THE SERIES WITH SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Sunday marks the third meeting between Miami and Southern Illinois with the series tied at one win apiece. This year’s game is a return game from the 2013 ESPN BracketBuster event when the RedHawks traveled to SIU on Feb. 23 and suffered a hard-fought 74-68 overtime loss to the Salukis. The first meeting between the teams also came in Carbondale with Miami pulling out a 77-72 win on Dec. 28, 1956. This will be the first meeting between the teams in Oxford.
UP NEXT: The RedHawks open 2014 traveling to No. 23/22 Massachusetts for a 7 p.m. game on Saturday, Jan. 4 to wrap up non-conference action before opening Mid-American Conference play at Central Michigan on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. Miami returns home to host Western Michigan at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11.
HONORING COLES: This season, the Miami University men’s basketball team will wear a special patch on both its home and road uniforms to honor the memory of long-time Miami head coach and 1965 alumnus Charlie Coles. The circular black patch has the initials CC in white. Coach Coles, who spent 16 years at the helm of the RedHawk program, is Miami’s all-time leader in wins and is the Mid-American Conference record holder for career conference wins. Coach Coles retired on March 5, 2012, following the RedHawks’ last game of the season. He passed away on June 7, 2013, at the age of 71.
MIAMI SPORTS NETWORK FROM IMG COLLEGE: In its seventh year of its partnership with IMG College, the Miami Sports Network from IMG College continues its coverage of Miami men’s basketball with a group of affiliates blanketing most of Southwest Ohio and Southeast Indiana. "The Voice of the RedHawks" Steve Baker delivers the play-by-play coverage, while Terry Bridge provides commentary. Tune in to one of Miami’s game-day affiliates: WMOH-AM 1450 (Hamilton, OH), WFMG-FM 101.3 (Richmond, IN), WDBZ-AM 1230 (Cincinnati, OH), WONE 980 (Dayton, OH), MURedHawks.com (All-Access Subscription).
JOHNSON LEAVES MIAMI UNIVERSITY MEN'S BASKETBALL PROGRAM: Sophomore guard Reggie Johnson (Chicago, Ill./St. Joseph) has voluntarily left the Miami University men’s basketball program effective immediately.
REDHAWKS COLLECT FIRST ROAD WIN: Behind a strong shooting effort, which included four players scoring in double figures, Miami earned its first road win of the season with a 79-64 triumph at Tennessee State on Dec. 21. Miami shot an impressive 56.5 percent, including a 57.1 percent shooting effort in the first half. Junior guard Will Sullivan led the RedHawks with 21 points, while senior forward Will Felder amassed 19 points, freshman guard Jaryd Eustace chipped in a career-high 13 points and freshman forward Joshua Oswald added career highs of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
DOUBLE VISION: Freshman forward Joshua Oswald became the second RedHawk this season to record a double-double, amassing career highs of 11 points and 11 rebounds at Tennessee State on Dec. 21. It was Oswald’s first career double-double. He was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field against the Tigers, including 1-for-1 from 3-point range. Earlier in the season, senior forward Will Felder notched his third career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds against Wilmington on Nov. 23.
LAST FIVE: Over the RedHawks’ last five games, Miami is averaging 70.4 ppg and is shooting 47.8 percent from the field. Senior forward Will Felder is averaging 15.8 ppg and 8.0 rpg during that stretch, while junior guard Will Sullivan is averaging 12.2 ppg and sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight is averaging 10.8 ppg and 3.0 spg. Sullivan leads the team in shooting percentage over the last five games, knocking down 62.2 percent from the field and 52.9 percent from 3-point range. Additionally, freshman forward Joshua Oswald is averaging 7.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg.
STEALING THE SHOW: As a team, Miami ranks third in the MAC in steals, averaging 7.9 steals per game. Two RedHawks rank among MAC statistical leaders in steals, led by sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight, who leads the MAC in steals per game (2.3). Senior guard Quinten Rollins ranks fourth (1.8 spg).
McKNIGHT DOING DOUBLE TIME: Sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight has scored in double figures in seven of the RedHawks’ nine games this season and is averaging 9.9 ppg for Miami. McKnight scored a career-high 16 points against Wright State to lead all players on Dec. 15. Prior to that, he had recorded then-career highs of 13 points three times: at Notre Dame (Nov. 8), vs. IPFW (Dec. 3) and at Evansville (Dec. 7). He leads Miami in double-figure scoring games. McKnight made his way into the RedHawks’ starting lineup and has started Miami’s last seven games.
WILL POWER: Miami had a lot of "Will" power in its 94-87 win over IPFW on Dec. 3. Senior forward Will Felder amassed a Miami career-high 26 points, 22 coming in the second half, while junior guard Will Sullivan poured in a career-high 23 points, including a second-half scoring flurry of 13 consecutive points that gave Miami its first lead of the game. Sullivan missed just one field goal against the Mastodons, going 8-for-9 from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
NIFTY FIFTIES: Miami scored 58 second-half points against IPFW. It was the best scoring output in a half by the RedHawks since tallying 59 points in the second half against Northwestern State on Dec. 6, 2008. It was the second time in the John Cooper era that the RedHawks have surpassed 50 points in a half, recording 53 points in the second half versus Grambling State on Nov. 13, 2012.
MOST POINTS IN FIVE YEARS: Miami’s 94 points against IPFW was the first time the RedHawks have scored 90 points in regulation as well as the most points they have scored since a 94-66 win against Northwestern State on Dec. 6, 2008.
ROLLINS TIES CAREER HIGHS: Senior guard Quinten Rollins tied career highs of 18 points and seven rebounds against Wilmington on Nov. 23. He tallied four assists and added five steals to his output against the Quakers. It was the seventh time in his career he amassed five or more steals.
A MIAMI WIN WOULD ...
• Be Miami’s second straight win.
• Give Miami a 2-1 lead in the all-time series.
• Be the RedHawks’ fourth win in six games.
A MIAMI LOSS WOULD ...
• Give Southern Illinois its third straight win.
• Be the Salukis’ first road win.
• Make SIU 2-0 against MAC teams this season.