KENT, Ohio— A brilliant first-half effort propelled the Miami University men's basketball team to a key 73-61 win at Kent State University on Tuesday night as the teams battle in the final week of the regular season to host a first-round game in next week’s Mid-American Conference Tournament.
With the win, the RedHawks move to 12-16 on the season and 8-9 in MAC play, while the Golden Flashes drop to 16-14 overall and 7-10 in the MAC.
Senior forward Will Felder finished with 26 points in the winning effort, tying his career high at Miami. He sunk 10-of-18 field goals, also tying a career high in field goals for Felder at MU. It was Felder’s fifth 20-point effort of the season and seventh as a RedHawk. He was one board shy of a double-double with nine rebounds to lead all players.
The RedHawks came out on fire in the first half, jumping out to a 45-25 lead at the intermission. Miami went 7-for-7 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes with junior guard Will Sullivan knocking down three treys and sophomore guard Willie Moore adding two long-range buckets. Miami used an 11-0 run from the 9:00 mark until a Golden Flash bucket with just under five and a half to go to help build its lead. Sullivan recorded the first five points and Felder tallied the final six during the RedHawk scoring flurry.
Miami had three players in double figures in the first half with Felder amassing 15 points and Sullivan and Moore each scoring 11. Miami shot an impressive 63.0 percent from the field, while handing out 12 assists and snagging seven steals in the first half.
Continuing its momentum into the second half, Miami used a 10-3 surge to take its largest lead of the game with 13:48 to play off a pair of Felder free throws, 57-33. However, the Golden Flashes retaliated with an 18-2 run to close within eight of the RedHawks with 7:58 to go, 59-51. After the teams traded points, Miami rattled off seven straight points to push its lead to 15 off a senior guard Quinten Rollins jumper at 3:45, and Miami kept its lead at double digits for the remainder of the game.
Moore finished with 14 points for Miami and added six rebounds, three assists and three steals to his line, while Sullivan notched 13 points, four rebounds and a blocked shot. Rollins chipped in eight points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals in the winning effort.
The RedHawks finished the game shooting 52.0 percent from the field, including 63.6 percent from the 3-point range.
Devareaux Manley led the Golden Flashes with 12 points.
Miami has one remaining home game on its regular-season slate as the RedHawks host rival Ohio at noon on Saturday, March 8 in the 193rd meeting between the teams. It will be a “Battle of the Bricks” doubleheader day at Millett Hall with the Miami University women’s basketball team also hosting Ohio. Game time will be 30 minutes following the conclusion of the men’s game at approximately 2:30 p.m.
Miami Athletics is offering a special “Rivalry Day” ticket price of $8 for the March 8 doubleheader, which gains admission to BOTH games! Miami University faculty and staff receive an additional bonus with ticket pricing at just $5 per ticket. This is a pre-sale offer and is not available on game day.
Purchase tickets today by calling the Miami Athletics Ticket Office at 513-529-4295 or clicking here.