Ypsilanti, Mich.- After trailing by 13 points at halftime, the Miami University men's basketball team (7-9, 2-2 Mid-American Conference) rebounded with a strong start to the second half but ultimately came up short against Eastern Michigan (9-9, 2-2 MAC), falling by a score of 65-58. Junior forward Will Felder led the RedHawks with 12 points and nine rebounds.
The RedHawks fell behind by as many as 14 points in the second half, but they came roaring back with an 18-6 scoring run capped by a 3-pointer from junior forward Jon Harris that made the score 60-58 with less than two minutes remaining. The very end of the game came down to the Eagles hitting five of nine free-throw attempts over the final 1:32.
To start the game, the RedHawks jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, but Eastern Michigan answered right back with 10 consecutive points of its own to make the score 10-4 just five minutes into the game. Miami cut the lead to two thanks to sharp shooting from junior guard Allen Roberts and freshman guard Reggie Johnson, but the Eagles retaliated with a 20-7 scoring run to take a commanding 15-point lead, 34-19. Miami managed to cut the lead to 13 at halftime thanks in large part to a Roberts' buzzer beater, and the RedHawks ended the first half down 38-25.
The Eagles started the second half with a dunk from forward Glenn Bryant to bump their lead back up to 15, but Miami rattled off an 11-0 run to cut its deficit to four, 40-36. Unfazed by the momentum swing, Eastern Michigan came back to score 10 of the next 14 points to push its lead back into double figures, 54-40, with just under 10 minutes left.
This was when the RedHawks made their push and went on an 18-6 run that was started by a layup from Johnson with 8:16 left. By hitting their shots and forcing four turnovers during that span, they were able to close the gap to two, 60-58, on a Harris triple.
Eastern Michigan missed on a few one-and-one free-throw attempts to keep Miami hanging around, but the RedHawks were unable to capitalize in the waning seconds.
In addition to Felder's team-leading 12 points and nine boards, Roberts added 11 points and Harris scored nine points by hitting three of his four shots from behind the arc. Despite Harris' successes from long range, the RedHawks shot just 15 percent on their threes in the second half.
Eastern Michigan's Darek Thompson led all scorers with 16 points and Da'Shonte Riley led the Eagles with eight rebounds. It was the Eagles' first win against Miami since 1998, snapping a 16-game losing skid to the RedHawks.
Miami returns home for three consecutive games at Millett Hall, starting with a Wednesday affair against rival Ohio at 7 p.m.in the Battle of the Bricks.