Miami-Ohio (8-20) at Ohio (22-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (13,080) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: SportsTime Ohio. Home Record: Miami 5-8, Ohio 15-2. Away Record: Miami 3-12, Ohio 7-6. Neutral Record: Miami 0-0, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: Miami 3-12, Ohio 13-2. Series Record: Ohio leads, 99-91.
GAMES NOTES: In a regular-season finale on Saturday the Miami-Ohio RedHawks will visit the Ohio University Bobcats in a Mid-American Conference battle at the Convocation Center.
Miami-Ohio was disappointed again on Tuesday as it dropped its eighth straight game to fall to 8-20 overall and 3-12 in league play. That record in league action has the RedHawks tied with Northern Illinois for last place overall in the conference, with the RedHawks in last place in the East Division.
Despite a 72-69 win over Buffalo on Tuesday a victory by Akron took a possible MAC regular season crown and East Division title away from the Bobcats. Ohio has still had a strong season a year removed from its remarkable run to the Sweet 16. The Bobcats are 22-8 overall and 13-2 in league action which will has them with the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the MAC Tournament.
These instate rivals have met 190 times previously with Ohio leading the all- time series with 99 wins. The Bobcats secured a 74-62 win in the first meeting this season for its third-straight win against the RedHawks.
It was the RedHawks who allowed the Zips to capture the MAC regular season throne on Tuesday. Despite 21 points from Jon Harris the RedHawks could not get past the Zips in part because of the 20 turnovers they committed. Those miscues turned into 31 points for Akron.
Allen Roberts (12.7 ppg) has been the most consistent double-figure scorer for the RedHawks this season but certainly not the most efficient one. Roberts shoots at just a 39.2 percent from the field and was absent against Akron. His return for Saturday's game has yet to be determined. If Roberts is out again that leaves the bulk of the scoring duties to Will Felder (11.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg) who has been much better as a complementary scorer as he makes good on a 51.9 percent of his attempts from the floor. Harris (8.0 ppg) can be leaned on as well, as he has shown recently by scoring in double figures in back-to-back games after failing to do so in the previous 15 contests.
The Bobcats were trailing, 69-63, late in the contest with Buffalo but held the Bulls scoreless over the final 3:51 to close the game on a 9-0 run and secure the victory. D.J. Cooper scored a game-high 24 points in the winning effort.
Cooper (14.1 ppg, 7.3 pg) is what makes the Bobcats run on offense as he carries the team not only by scoring but by making plays for his teammates. Cooper leads the MAC in assists and is certainly one of a small group in the running for First-Team All-MAC honors once the regular season ends. Walter Offutt (11.1 ppg) also has experience from last season's surprise postseason run as does Reggie Keely (12.0 ppg), who is shooting at an incredible 62.2 percent clip from the field. Under Cooper's supervision, Ohio has been the best offensive team in the conference, ranking first in points (74.3 pg), assists (18.3 pg) and field-goal percentage (.477). In fact the Bobcats are actually No. 1 in the country in assisted field goals.
Though the Bobcats won't have the motivation of playing for a MAC regular season title the fact that this will be their last home game of the season should be enough to propel them into the postseason with a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio 76, Miami-Ohio 62
03/09 10:45:24 ET