OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University men’s basketball team played a back-and forth-first half against the University of Toledo, but the Rockets caught fire in the second half to send the RedHawks to an 83-70 loss on Wednesday night at Millett Hall.
Sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight amassed a career-high 18 points to lead all players. Senior guard Quinten Rollins and junior guard Will Sullivan also scored in double figures with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
The RedHawks (8-10 overall; 4-3 Mid-American Conference) scored seven straight to go up 9-4 five minutes into the game. With Miami up 15-10, Toledo (18-2; 6-1 MAC) took back the lead with seven straight points to take a 17-15 edge at the 10:33 mark.
Shortly after, the RedHawks got back-to-back baskets from McKnight and senior forward Will Felder to reclaim a two-point edge with 8:59 to play in the opening half, 19-17. Miami trailed Toledo 25-23 with less then seven minutes left in the half, then sophomore guard Willie Moore tied the game 25-25 with a steal and a dunk.
It was a tight first half that consisted of six ties and four lead changes, resulting in neither team leading the game by more than six points. Trailing 35-31 with a minute left till the break, McKnight stripped Julius Brown of the ball and dunked at the other end to cut the deficit to two. Toledo’s Jordan Lauf answered with a layup to cap the first-half scoring with Miami trailing, 37-33.
Toledo scored the first six points of the second half to stretch its lead to 43-33. After a timeout, Sullivan scored Miami’s first 3-pointer of the game, cutting the deficit to seven at the 17:03 mark. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Toledo’s Justin Drummond, however, gave the Rockets a 13-point lead. Miami didn’t get closer than 10 points the rest of the way, with Toledo leading by as many as 18 points.
The Rockets had four players score double figures, led by Drummond’s 16 points. He also led all players with 11 boards.
Toledo shot 55 percent from the field while Miami made 41.5 percent of its shots. The Rockets also held a 44-26 edge in rebounding.
Miami hosts Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 1 in a 3 p.m. tipoff against the Eagles.