Miami-Ohio (9-13) at Western Michigan (15-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 15, 4:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: University Arena (5,421) -- Kalamazoo, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Miami 5-4, WMU 10-2. Away Record: Miami 4-9, WMU 3-6. Neutral Record: Miami 0-0, WMU 2-0. Conference Record: Miami 5-6, WMU 8-3. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 81-42.
GAME NOTES: Hoping to stay near the top of the conference standings, the Western Michigan Broncos host the Miami-Ohio RedHawks in a Mid-American Conference tilt at University Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Miami comes into the contest having lost three straight and four of it last five games overall. In their last outing, the RedHawks fell to Buffalo at home on Wednesday night, 75-62. They currently sit in fourth place in the MAC's East Division.
Western Michigan is having much more success of late, winning its last four and has just one loss in its last seven games. Also playing on Wednesday, the Broncos edged Akron at home, 57-54. They are currently in second place in the West Division.
This is 124th meeting between Miami and Western Michigan, with the RedHawks laying claim to an 81-42 lead in the all-time series. WMU has won the last four meetings, including a 78-77 overtime decision at Millett Hall earlier this season.
Jaryd Eustace poured in a career-high 17 points off the bench, while Will Felder and Geovonie McKnight added 13 and 11 points, respectively in the RedHawks' loss to Buffalo. Buffalo set the tone early by shooting 57.1 percent from the field in the first half, including 7-of-14 from 3-point range, and it took a 42-33 lead into intermission. Miami was solid as well at 50 percent field goal shooting but couldn't keep pace. The Bulls led wire-to-wire, pulling ahead by as many as 17 down the stretch. Buffalo won the rebounding battle, 40-25, and outscored Miami in the paint, 34-20.
Felder leads the RedHawks in scoring this season with 14.4 ppg on 53.4 percent shooting from the floor. Felder's 7.4 rpg is also a team-best, and his 19 blocked shots are 10 more than anyone else on the roster. McKnight averages 9.8 ppg, and is second on the team with 52 assists, but he has turned it over 57 times. Quinten Rollins leads that category with 88 assists. The team is scoring just 66 ppg and giving up 70.7 ppg, while and also pulling down a league-worst 31.4 rpg.
David Brown scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and recorded four steals, and the Broncos hit clutch free throws in the final seconds of the game to down Akron. Shayne Whittington scored 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds, and both Connar Tava and Tucker Haymond chipped in 12 points in the win. Neither team shot well in first half. WMU struggled to a .348 field goal percentage in the frame, while Akron got off to a worse start at 30.3 percent. Still, the Zips led at the half, 28-20. The Broncos battled back in the second period, connecting on 47.8 percent of their shots, and hit 13-of-16 from the free-throw line to secure the win.
Brown has the team lead in scoring this season for the Broncos with 18.7 ppg, while Whittington checks in at second with 14.8 ppg and Tava at 12.1 ppg. Whittington tops the team in rebounding at 8.5 rpg, and leads the squad with 23 blocked shots on the year. Tava, who is second in rebounding with 5.7 rpg, leads the team in assists with a 2.8 apg average. As a unit, they are averaging 70.9 ppg and giving up 66.8 ppg.
The Broncos are playing very good basketball and have had a lot of success this season at home. The RedHawks have trouble scoring and getting scored on, which given the offense strength of the Broncos, should spell a rough trip for the visitors.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Michigan 75, Miami-Ohio 65
02/15 10:24:21 ET