BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Miami University's men's basketball team seized a 63-52 win at sixth-seeded Bowling Green (13-19) on Monday night at the Stroh Center in the first round of the FirstEnergy Mid-American Conference Tournament to advance to Cleveland on Wednesday. The No. 11 seed RedHawks (9-21) will face No. 7 seed Eastern Michigan at 9 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena with a quarterfinal berth on the line.
The RedHawks took a quick, 5-4 lead off a Harris 3-pointer at 16:39, but Bowling Green used an 8-0 run to capture a 12-5 lead by the 14:03 mark. Miami chiseled away at the Falcon advantage and knotted the game at 18-18 off one of Harris' four first-half triples at 8:35.
The Falcons came back with a dunk and a 3-pointer to take a five-point lead with 7:42 to go in the half, 23-18. Another Harris triple capped a 5-0 RedHawk surge that again knotted the game at 5:02, 23 all. After a 25-25 tie, BGSU used an old-fashioned three-point play with 3:53 to go in the half to take a 28-25 lead.
Harris drained a 3-pointer to even the game and then chipped in a jumper to hand Miami its first lead since the 16:39 mark. Freshman guard Geovonie McKnight stole the ball on the Falcons' next possession and connected on a layup to cap a 7-0 RedHawk run and hand Miami a 32-28 lead with 2:39 to go in the half. The Falcons hit a 3-pointer to close within one, but a junior guard Quinten Rollins jumper with 50 seconds to play in the opening half handed Miami a 34-31 lead, which carried into halftime.
Johnson hit a pair of buckets to open the second-half scoring, pushing the Miami lead to seven and forcing a BGSU timeout. Felder drained a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to extend the Miami lead to 41-31 with 15:08 to go. A pair of senior center Vince Legarza free throws at the 14:12 mark pushed Miami's lead to 43-31.
Luke Kraus sunk a 3-pointer at 13:31 to give the Falcons their first points of the half and halt the 9-0 RedHawk run to open the period. Junior guard Allen Roberts hit a jumper to give Miami a 47-36 lead, but Bowling Green came back with a 9-0 run over the next three and a half minutes to cut the lead to 47-45 with 7:15 to play. Roberts buried a floating jumper in the lane at 5:04 to thwart the BGSU flurry and give Miami a four-point cushion.
After BGSU cut the lead to two with 4:35 remaining, 49-47, Johnson hit a key triple to extend the Miami lead. BGSU's Chauncey Orr hit two freebies to make the score 52-49 with 2:08 left, but Johnson banked in a 3-pointer at the top of the key to give Miami a six-point advantage with 1:40 to go. The RedHawks knocked in all eight free throws down the stretch to preserve the win and advance to the second round in Cleveland.
A'uston Calhoun, Orr and Jordon Crawford each scored 10 points for Bowling Green.
The RedHawk win snapped a nine-game losing skid. Miami moved to 8-1 when facing Bowling Green in the MAC Tournament.
Wednesday's contest against the Eagles will be televised live on SportsTime Ohio.