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
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
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 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
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.