OXFORD, Ohio-The Miami University men's basketball team stuck with the visiting Ball State Cardinals (8-10, 2-4 Mid-American Conference) for the first half, but the RedHawks (7-11, 2-4 MAC) couldn't overcome a nearly 70 percent-second-half shooting effort from their foes en route to an 82-62 loss at Millett Hall on Saturday.
Three-pointers ruled the opening minutes of the game, with four of the first five made baskets coming from long range. All of those treys led to Ball State jumping out to a 9-5 lead. A pair of free throws from junior guard Allen Roberts cut the deficit to two and, minutes later, freshman guard Reggie Johnson nailed a three to give Miami its first lead of the game.
The back-and-forth nature of the game continued, with five lead changes and two ties occurring in the next five minutes of game time, leading to a 22-22 tie with seven and a half minutes left in the half. Ball State's Chris Bond broke the tie to give the Cardinals their lead back, but junior forward Jon Harris answered right back with a bucket of his own to knot the score at 24-24. Junior guard Quinten Rollins put the RedHawks in front with two free throws, only to have Bond come right back with a trey to give Ball State a 27-26 lead.
The Cardinals' lead didn't last long, as sophomore guard Will Sullivan nailed a three to put Miami up by two. Those points, however, would be the RedHawks' last of the half. Ball State closed out the last few minutes with five unanswered points to head into halftime with a 34-29 lead.
Jesse Berry of the Cardinals led all scorers in the first half with 12 points, all of which coming from behind the arc. Miami had a balanced scoring effort in the opening half with three players tied with five points apiece: junior center Drew McGhee, junior forward Will Felder and Harris.
Miami came out firing for the second half, scoring seven of the first nine points to tie the game at 36-36. The stalemate didn't last long, though, as Ball State went on a 10-3 run to take a 46-39 lead with just over 14 minutes remaining. The RedHawks fought back to come within three, 53-50, but Ball State's shooting proved to be too much to handle. The Cardinals exploded for a 17-4 run that put the game firmly in their grasp.
Four Cardinals scored in double figures, led by Majok Majok's 21 points. Berry added 20, while Bond and Jauwan Scaife chipped in 16 and 14 points, respectively. Majok also led all players with eight rebounds.
Felder paced the RedHawks with 14 points, his ninth consecutive double-figure scoring game. Rollins chipped in a season-high 12 points, while freshman guard Reggie Johnson notched 10 points.
Miami rounds out a three-game home stretch hosting Western Michigan at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30.