BOWLING GREEN, Ohio-A seven-point halftime lead was not enough for the Miami University men's basketball team (8-18, 3-10 Mid-American Conference) to come away with a victory on Wednesday night. Instead, the RedHawks fell to the Bowling Green Falcons (12-16, 6-7 MAC) at the Stroh Center by a score of 52-44. Junior guard Allen Roberts recorded his eighth consecutive double-digit scoring game by leading Miami with 16 points.
Miami trailed by as many as four in the opening half but fought its way back to grab a three-point lead, 13-10, with the help of steals from junior forward Will Felder and junior forward Jon Harris. The RedHawks held that lead until the 8:16 mark when a Bowling Green 3-pointer gave the Falcons a one-point advantage, 16-15.
Sparked by two free throws from senior center Vince Legarza, Miami went on a 10-0 scoring run that saw its lead balloon to nine points, 25-16, with less than five minutes to play in the half. The RedHawk lead was cut to five with just seconds to play, but junior guard Quinten Rollins hit a jumper as the horn sounded to send his team into halftime with a 31-24 lead.
Defense was the key for Miami in the first half; the RedHawks recorded six steals and forced nine Falcon turnovers that resulted in 12 points.
The Falcons came out strong in the second half, however, scoring the first seven points to tie the game at 24-24. A basket from Legarza gave Miami its first points since halftime at the 14:47 mark and also helped the RedHawks regain the lead.
The game remained a back-and-forth affair for much of the second half, and it seemed that the momentum was in Miami's favor after a monstrous, one-handed put-back dunk from Felder that put his squad up by two, 42-40. Unfortunately, that was the last time the RedHawks would have control of the lead. The minutes ticked off the clock and as the Falcons hit their free throws in the waning moments to secure the win.
Roberts was the RedHawks' leading scorer with 16 points and the only player on the team to reach double figures. Bowling Green's Jordan Crawford led all scorers with 19 points and was also the only player on his team to reach double digits.
The RedHawks were without redshirt junior center Drew McGhee, who sustained a right knee injury at a practice on Monday. McGhee will be out for the remainder of the season.
Miami returns to action when the RedHawks host Kent State in the final home regular-season game at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 2. The RedHawks will honor their lone senior center Vince Legarza prior to the game. Miami Athletics also will recognize former head coach Charlie Coles at halftime.