OXFORD, Ohio-After nearly a month on the road, the Miami University men's basketball team (4-6) returned home to Millett Hall and defeated the Flames from Illinois-Chicago (9-3), 82-70. Sophomore guard Will Sullivan led to way with a career-high 16 points, and three other RedHawks ended up in double figures on the afternoon.
Miami jumped out to a quick 6-3 lead, led by back-to-back baskets from junior forward Will Felder, the second coming off of a beautiful pass from junior guard Quinten Rollins. UIC responded with an alley-oop to Josh Crittle, who was then called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim. Junior guard Allen Roberts sank both of the free throws following Crittle’s foul.
Roberts’ freebies were followed by a layup from the Flames’ Hayden Humes. The RedHawks then rattled off a 12-2 scoring run headed by Rollins, who scored seven points in that span. This gave Miami a commanding 20-9 lead at the 11:58 mark.
UIC answered back with six straight points of its own to cut the deficit to five, but buckets from freshman guard Geovonie McKnight and junior forward Jon Harris helped Miami’s lead creep back up to nine, 24-15. The RedHawks held their commanding lead for the rest of the half, going into halftime with a 39-28 advantage thanks to a buzzer-beating three from Felder.
Felder led all scorers in the first half with nine points and freshman guard Reggie Johnson was close behind with eight. The 11-point halftime lead tied for the largest of the season thus far.
Sullivan opened up the scoring in the second half with a 3-pointer, but the Flames scored eight unanswered points to cut the Miami lead to six, 42-36. Another trey from Sullivan increased the lead to nine and gave him nine points on the afternoon, marking a new career high. UIC pulled within six points again thanks to four points from Crittle, but Harris and McKnight led a 7-0 scoring run to put the RedHawks up by 13, 53-40.
The Flames answered right back with seven straight points of their own, but Sullivan continued his big game by scoring on consecutive possessions to increase his team’s lead to 10. UIC would not give up, though, and clawed its way back to within seven, 62-55, with just under eight minutes remaining.
Despite coming within seven points, the Flames never really came close to reclaiming the lead, and the RedHawks came away victorious, 82-70.
Sullivan led all scorers with 16 points, double his previous career high. Harris and Felder each finished with 14 points and freshman guard Reggie Johnson added 12 while also leading the team with five rebounds.
UIC had five scorers reach double figures. Gary Talton, the Flames’ leading scorer on the season, ended up with 15 points. Hayen Humes led all players with six rebounds.
Miami shot the ball extremely well in the second half, going 14-21 from the field and 5-8 from behind the arc. Harris alone was a perfect 4-4 and made all three of his three point field goal attempts.
The RedHawks will be at home for their next three games, including their next matchup on December 30 against Wilmington College. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.