AMHERST, Mass.--Miami University's men's basketball team put forth a valiant effort but came up short, falling at No. 23/22 Massachusetts on Saturday evening, 73-65.
Senior forward Will Felder led all players with 22 points, while senior guard Quinten Rollins added nine assists, five steals and seven points and sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight tallied 15 points and a career-high seven assists. Felder was 10-of-12 from the field, shooting a scorching 83.3 percent from the field.
Baskets by Rollins and McKnight gave Miami (4-7) a quick 4-0 lead by the 18:18 mark. The Minutemen (12-1) used an 11-0 run over the next four minutes to take a seven-point lead at 14:23. UMass extended its lead to eight points, leading 20-12 with 8:43 to go in the opening half, but Miami persisted and used four points from freshman forward Joshua Oswald, a trey by freshman guard Jaryd Eustace and a bucket from Felder to shrink the gap to two points by the 6:04 mark, 23-21.
Miami kept it close and trailed just three points after McKnight fired a pass to sophomore center John Hawkins, who tossed in the layup at 3:09 to make the score 30-27 in favor of UMass. Trey Davis knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers for the Minutemen to extend their lead to 36-27 with 1:49 to go, but McKnight completed a three-point play with just over a minute to play and Felder tossed in a layup as the first half ended to put the RedHawks within four at the break, 36-32.
UMass scored four unanswered points to open the second half, but Miami retailed with a four-point spurt with a buckets from Oswald and Felder to stay within four of the Minutemen with 16:10 to go, 40-36. UMass extended its lead to 11 points at 9:32, 51-40, but the Red and White cut the deficit to single digits off back-to-back Oswald layups to pull within seven at 8:53, 51-44.
After UMass took a 12-point lead at 3:57, 62.50, a feisty RedHawk team refused to relent and went on a 7-1 scoring flurry to pull within six points with 2:53 to play, 63-57. The Minutemen again pushed their advantage to double figures, leading 70-59 with 36 seconds left, but jumpers by McKnight and a pair of buckets by Felder again brought Miami within six with four seconds to play. UMass capped the scoring with a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining to make the final margin eight points.
Oswald was the other RedHawk to score in double figures with a career-high 12 points. Chaz Williams led four Minutemen in double figures with 18 points.
Miami continues a two-game road stretch when the RedHawks travel to Central Michigan to open Mid-American Conference play at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8.