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Miami-Ohio (9-21) vs. Eastern Michigan (15-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 13, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Quicken Loans Arena (20,562) -- Cleveland, Ohio. Television: SportsTime Ohio. Home Record: Miami-Ohio 5-8, EMU 13-5. Away Record: Miami-Ohio 3-13, EMU 12-2. Neutral Record: Miami-Ohio 1-0, EMU 0-0. Conference Record: Miami-Ohio 3-13, EMU 7-9. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 47-20.
GAMES NOTES: After a surprising victory in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament the 11th-seed Miami-Ohio RedHawks will look to stay alive when they battle the seventh-seed Eastern Michigan Eagles at Quicken Loans Arena.
In Monday's first round the RedHawks squared off with sixth-seed Bowling Green and recorded a convincing 63-52 victory. The win was the first for the RedHawks since a 70-61 triumph on Feb. 2 over Central Michigan. The RedHawks had lost 10 straight games since that victory which was just their third in league play all season.
Jalen Ross' 3-pointer with 32 seconds remaining lifted Eastern Michigan to a grueling 45-44 victory over Northern Illinois on Monday. The Eagles' victory ended a two-game slide that they rode into the postseason. During the regular season the Eagles went 14-17 with a 7-9 record against fellow MAC teams.
The winner of this contest will move on to face No. 3 seed Western Michigan in Thursday's third round.
During the regular season these teams met just once with Eastern Michigan earning a 65-58 victory at home. That ended a 16-game win streak in the all- time series for the RedHawks, which they still lead by a convincing margin (47-20).
The RedHawks did not score more than 60 points in their final four games of the regular season but finally broke that trend against Bowling Green. Jon Harris scored a game-high 14 points, hitting four shots from beyond the arc in the victory.
The RedHawks also won the battle of the boards (33-30) something they have not been accustomed to this season. Miami is bringing in just 29.5 rebounds per game, which ranks dead last in the MAC and among the 15 worst totals in the country. Also not helping matters is the fact that the RedHawks are scoring the third fewest points per game among MAC teams (63.6). Allen Roberts (12.5 ppg) and Will Felder (11.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg) are the two top scorers for the RedHawks. Roberts shoots at just a 39.5 percent clip and had missed the last two games of the regular season before returning to put in eight points against Bowling Green.
There were just four lead changes in Eastern Michigan's battle with Northern Illinois. Eastern Michigan controlled the bulk of the contest, leading by as many as 11 points, but had just six field goals in the final 20 minutes to let the Huskies rally. Luckily Ross saved the Eagles with his game-winning 3- pointer, just his second field goal of the contest.
Eastern Michigan makes its living on the defensive end of the floor. The Eagles are holding teams to just 59.8 points per game on 39.6 percent shooting, which are each top 45 marks nationally. However the Eagles rank second to last in the league in points (56.7 pg), assists (10.6 pg) and field-goal percentage (.401). Derek Thompson (11.1 ppg) is shooting at just a 37.5 percent clip this season but is one of only two players scoring in double figures and one of three putting in more than six points per game. Glenn Bryant (10.7 ppg) is the other. DaShonte Riley (3.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg) hasn't been much of a scorer but had a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double in the first round.
Miami already pulled off an upset to start off the tournament but the RedHawks will have a tougher time on Wednesday against the defensively tough Eagles. If Eastern Michigan can get another strong effort from Riley and find some success on offense the Eagles should move on.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Eastern Michigan 61, Miami-Ohio 57
03/13 11:12:42 ET
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