Miami at Buffalo
Saturday, March 1 - 12 p.m.
Alumni Arena - Buffalo, N.Y.
TV: TWC Sports Channel/ESPN3 (Ben Wagner/Dave Cecutti)
Live Audio 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 BEGIN TWO-GAME ROAD TRIP SATURDAY: Miami starts a two-game road swing when the RedHawks travel to Buffalo for a noon game on Saturday, March 1. The game will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel and ESPN3. The RedHawks are coming off a pair of wins, topping Bowling Green on Sunday, 55-52, and outlasting Akron on Wednesday, 65-61. Miami seeks a third straight win but faces a Buffalo team that has won three straight and six of its last seven, including a 69-64 road win at Ohio on Wednesday.
QUINTEN ROLLINS—MAN OF STEALS: He may not be called Super Man, but senior guard Quinten Rollins has been the man of "steals" for Miami and is moving up the career charts. Behind a six-steal effort against Akron on Feb. 26, which ties for sixth at Miami for single-game steals, Rollins pushed his career total to 203 and became just the 15th player in Mid-American Conference history to amass 200 career steals. He currently ties for 13th among MAC leaders and ranks second at Miami behind Ron Harper’s 287. This season, Rollins has amassed 62 steals to tie Harper for third on the single-season steals list. Harper owns the top three single-season steal totals at Miami: 101, 82 and 62. Rollins leads the MAC and ties for 14th nationally in steals this season at 2.4 per game. In conference play he averages 2.6 steals per game which also ranks first.
WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY: Miami’s two Wills—senior forward Will Felder and junior guard Will Sullivan—willed Miami to a 65-61 win against Akron on Wednesday. Felder recorded 16 points, 10 coming in the second half, which tied for the team lead in scoring with Sullivan. Sullivan scored 15 of his points in the first half, 13 of which came during Miami’s 16-4 run that evaporated an eight-point deficit and lifted the RedHawks to a five-point lead.
ABOUT THE BULLS: Buffalo enters Saturday’s game with a 17-8 overall record and an 11-4 MAC mark. The Bulls, who have won their last three and six of their last seven, are coming off a 69-64 win at Ohio on Saturday. Javon McCrea paces the Bulls with a MAC-leading 19.4 ppg and 10.5 rpg in conference-only play. Entering the week, McCrea ranked 61st nationally in scoring, 15th in rebounding and 21st in field goal percentage (.567). Joshua Freelove and Wil Regan also average double figures in scoring for Buffalo, averaging 12.6 and 10.6 ppg on the season, respectively. Jarod Oldham ranks 37th nationally in assists per game (5.4). As a team, the Bulls lead the MAC in conference-only games in scoring margin (+8.0), assists (15.7) and assist/turnover ratio (1.3).
THE SERIES WITH THE BUFFALO: Saturday marks the 33rd meeting between Miami and Buffalo with the RedHawks holding a 21-11 lead in the all-time series. The Bulls, however, have won the last two meetings—both played in Oxford—including a 75-62 win on Feb. 12, 2014. Miami’s last win in the series also was its last win at Alumni Arena, a 58-57 triumph on Jan. 12, 2013. When playing in Buffalo, Miami holds an 8-7 edge.
UP NEXT: Miami continues a two-game road stretch at Kent State on Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. Miami then returns home to conclude the regular season against Ohio at noon on March 8. The game has been selected as part of the MAC television package and will also be aired on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel and ESPN3. Miami’s women’s basketball team also hosts Ohio on March 8 following the men’s game.
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).
SENIOR MOMENTS: It seems appropriate that Miami’s two senior captains, guard Quinten Rollins and forward Will Felder, came up with critical defensive plays to seal the RedHawks’ 65-61 win over Akron on Wednesday. Felder blocked an Akron shot with four second left that could have given the Zips a one-point edge. With one second to play and Miami with a two-point edge, Rollins brilliantly intercepted an Akron pass and was immediately sent to the free-throw line where he drained both free throws to clinch the four-point win for the RedHawks. Each have done plenty throughout the course of the season to keep their names in consideration for postseason honors. Rollins is one of the toughest defensive players in the MAC, while Felder has been a steady force for the RedHawks coming up with buckets despite often being double and sometimes triple teamed and ranking among MAC leaders in seven categories.
CENTURY CLUB: With his appearance in the starting lineup against Bowling Green on Feb. 23, senior guard Quinten Rollins became just the eighth player in Miami history to reach 100 career starts. He has now made 101 career starts, which ties for seventh all-time.
ROARING 20s: Senior forward Will Felder notched his sixth 20-point performance as a RedHawk and fourth this season, leading Miami with 23 points against Kent State on Feb. 19. Felder was 6-of-9 from the field against KSU and drained 11-of-13 free-throw attempts. The 23 points against KSU are the second-most points Felder has scored at Miami. He posted a career-high 26 points against IPFW on Dec. 3. Felder also scored 22 points in games against Central Michigan (Jan. 22) and at Massachusetts (Jan. 4) this season.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF CHARITY: As a team, Miami leads the MAC in free-throw percentage, knocking down 75.5 percent of its charity tosses to rank 15th nationally. MU’s current free throw percentage would rank second all-time for a single-season team percentage. The RedHawks are shooting 78.5 percent from the line in conference games to also lead the MAC. Senior forward Will Felder ranks fourth among conference statistical leaders in league play (.857) and also on the season (.830).
STEALING THE SHOW: As a team, Miami is averaging 8.6 steals per game to rank second in the MAC and rank 13th nationally. The RedHawks are averaging 9.2 steals per game in MAC play, which ranks first. Senior guard Quinten Rollins ties for 14th nationally in steals and leads the MAC in all games (2.4) and also in MAC-only games (2.6). Sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight ranks 12th in all games (1.5). Sophomore guard Willie Moore and junior guard Will Sullivan tie for 11th in MAC-only games (1.6).
THREE FOR THREE: Prior to the season, junior guard Will Sullivan changed his number from 13 to 3. Coincidence or not, Sullivan has become Miami’s most productive and efficient 3-point shooter this season. He has knocked down 38 long-range shots through 26 games, surpassing his total of treys for the last two seasons combined. Sullivan leads the MAC in 3-point field goal percentage on the season (.442) and ranks fifth in MAC play (.435). If he can maintain this pace, Sullivan has a chance to rank among Miami leaders in 3-point field goal percentage in a season. The record is .492 by Wally Szczerbiak in 1998.
ODDS ‘N ENDS: With a 55-52 win against Bowling Green on Feb. 23, Miami reached double figures for wins and also posted its most MAC wins since the 2010-11 season ... senior guard Quinten Rollins has twice recorded seven steals and also twice amassed six steals in a game ... he owns four of Miami’s top single-game steal totals ... Miami has four players with the given name William: Will Felder, Will Sullivan, Willie Moore and Bill Edwards ... senior forward Will Felder’s 15 rebounds against Eastern Michigan on Feb. 1 were the most since Julian Mavunga hauled in 19 boards against the Eagles on Feb. 1, 2012 ... In all of Miami’s wins, it has shot better than its opponents from the field and is 10-0 when shooting better than the opponent.
McKNIGHT RECORDS CAREER HIGH: Sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight had recorded double-figure scoring efforts in 10 of Miami’s first 12 games but had not reached double digits in the following five games. McKnight, however, bounced back with a career-high 18 points against Toledo on Jan. 29 to lead all scorers. McKnight was 7-of-15 from the floor and 4-for-6 from the free-throw line against the Rockets. He has recorded double-figure scoring efforts in six of Miami’s last nine games.
FELDER DOUBLING UP: For the third time this season and the fifth time in his Miami career, senior forward Will Felder recorded a double-double. Felder notched 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds against Eastern Michigan on Feb. 1. Felder scored 22 points and hauled in 13 rebounds in an 86-80 win over Central Michigan on Jan. 22. His other double-double this season came in Miami’s home opener against Wilmington with 19 points and 11 boards.
ROLLINS TIES MIAMI SINGLE-GAME RECORD FOR SECOND TIME: Senior guard Quinten Rollins tied a Miami single-game record for steals, amassing seven at Central Michigan on Jan. 8. He matched a mark set by Ron Harper, Damon Frierson and Chuck Goodyear and equaled his own career-high set on Nov. 13, 2012 against Grambling State. With his seven steals against the Chippewas, Rollins became the only player in Miami history to twice record seven steals in a game.
A MIAMI WIN WOULD ...
• Be the RedHawks’ third straight win.
• Even the RedHawks’ MAC record at 8-8.
• Snap Buffalo’s three-game winning streak.
A MIAMI LOSS WOULD ...
• Be Miami’s third straight loss in the series with Buffalo.
• Make Buffalo 7-1 at home in MAC play.
• Be the RedHawks’ fourth straight road loss.