March 5, 2012
TOLEDO, Ohio--Monday night's Mid-American Conference Tournament first-round game at Toledo marked the end of the road for the Miami University men's basketball team, who fell by a score of 60-53. Sophomore center Drew McGhee led Miami with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Senior forward Julian Mavunga was the only other RedHawk to reach double figures in scoring, recording 12 points in his college basketball finale. Freshman guard Brian Sullivan came close, adding nine points on the night. Toledo's Rian Pearson led all players with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Miami jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks to buckets from McGhee and Mavunga, whose shot came from behind the arc. Toledo answered with a three of its own, but back-to-back baskets from McGhee and sophomore guard Quinten Rollins gave the RedHawks a 9-3 lead at the 15:50 mark.
The Rockets scored seven of the next nine points to pull within one, 11-10, but four more points from McGhee put Miami back up five. His jumper with just under 12 minutes remaining in the half was the last field goal either team would make for nearly three minutes, when Toledo's Matt Smith laid one in for the Rockets' first points since the 13:17 mark.
Pearson scored from in close and knocked down a free throw to tie the score at 15-15, but Miami pulled ahead with an 8-3 scoring run. Brian Sullivan 3-pointer put the RedHawks up 23-18 with 5:46 to go until halftime.
For those last five-plus minutes, Toledo was in complete control, outscoring Miami 14-1, the lone point coming from Rollins. When the horn sounded, the Rockets held a 32-24 lead over the RedHawks.
McGhee and Mavunga scored the first two Miami baskets of the second half, which were both answered by Toledo's Pearson. The RedHawks did not score again for nearly two full minutes, and when they did it was McGhee again, making the score 39-30. Before long, the Rocket lead had reached 16 points, 49-33, with just over 11 minutes left.
Its back up against the wall, Miami came roaring back with a 20-3 scoring run to take a 53-52 lead. The surge was sparked by a trey from Mavunga, and it ended with three straight from downtown, two of which from the hands of Brian Sullivan. Pearson and Dominique Buckley each hit jump shots, however, to give the lead back to the Rockets, 56-53, with 3:31 remaining. Unfortunately for the RedHawks, their shots stopped falling and they were unable to reclaim the lead. The clock hit zeros and Miami left the court with a 60-53 defeat at the hands of the Rockets.
The 2011-12 season for the RedHawks concludes with a 9-21 overall record and a 5-11 mark in MAC play.