Miami-Ohio (13-17) vs. Ohio (22-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 12, 6:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Quicken Loans Arena (20,562) -- Cleveland, Ohio. Television: Time Warner, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Miami-Ohio 8-6, Ohio 12-6. Away Record: Miami-Ohio 5-11, Ohio 10-4. Neutral Record: Miami-Ohio 0-0, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: Miami-Ohio 8-10, Ohio 11-7. Series Record: Ohio leads, 102-91.
GAME NOTES: The second round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament starts with a matchup of two heated intrastate rivals, as the eighth-seeded Miami- Ohio RedHawks take on the fifth-seeded Ohio Bobcats at Quicken Loans Arena.
The winner of this game will move on and advance to face fourth-seeded Akron on Thursday.
Miami-Ohio took care of business Monday by defeating Kent State, 71-64, on Miami's home court in Oxford in the first round of MAC Tournament action. The RedHawks have won two of their last three games entering this meeting with Ohio - both wins were against Kent State.
Ohio had no trouble handling Ball State in the first round on Monday, defeating the last-place Cardinals by a 76-64 margin. The Bobcats have won three in a row coming into the second-round matchup, which includes an overtime victory over Miami-Ohio.
The two long-time rivals have met a total of 193 times in their storied history, with Ohio holding a 102-91 advantage over the RedHawks. The Bobcats swept the season series, and ended their regular season with an 82-76 overtime battle against Miami.
Miami-Ohio had just a two-point lead over Kent State on Monday at the end of the first half in first-round MAC Tournament action. However, the RedHawks came out in the second period with a mission, which was to create distance between them and the Golden Flashes. And that's exactly what they did, gaining an additional five points on their lead thanks to four double-digit scorers in the contest. Willie Moore netted 17 points to pace the team, while Quinten Rollins and Will Sullivan each contributed 13 points, with Rollins dishing out a team-best five assists. Will Felder chipped in 10 points with five rebounds and five steals in the win.
The RedHawks are certainly missing Reggie Johnson, who added a double-digit points per game total before leaving the team for personal reasons. But Felder has performed well, netting a team-high 14.4 ppg through 30 games played, hitting 53.5 percent of his field goal attempts on the year. His 6.8 rpg average is a team best as well, along with 30 blocked shots. Geovonie McKnight is the next closest to a double-digit scorer for Miami, netting 9.5 ppg. Rollins leads the team with 121 assists on the year, adding a team-high 73 steals to his resume. The RedHawks average 65.6 ppg as a unit, and give up 69.9 ppg to opponents.
Ohio, with its win over Ball State on Monday, now has at least 22 victories for the third straight season. The Bobcats made it look easy against the Cardinals, running to a 38-26 lead at the end of the first half and never looking back. Ohio set its game on cruise control in the second period, and coasted to the 12-point win. Nick Kellogg tallied 17 points with five assists to lead his Bobcats in the game, while Javarez Willis notched 15 points with five assists of his own. Travis Wilkins chipped in 14 points, and Antonio Campbell netted 12. The Bobcats shot 52 percent from the field in the victory, adding 15-of-23 from the free-throw line.
Kellogg has been consistently productive this season, averaging a team-leading 15.3 ppg on 45.8 percent shooting from the floor. His 35 steals are tied for the team high, and his 87 combined assists are a team best. Maurice Ndour checks in behind Kellogg in scoring with 14.1 ppg, adding a team-high 7 rpg with 51 blocked shots. Jon Smith is behind Ndour in rebounding at 6.1 boards per outing, adding another 51 blocked shots. The Bobcats are averaging 71.8 ppg, and giving up 66.7 ppg to their opponents.
Miami-Ohio has done a nice job getting this far after hitting some snags during the season. Ohio though, is too strong and too experienced to let the RedHawks slip by in this round, especially after sweeping the season series. Miami just won't be able to keep pace with Ohio's offensive production.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio 74, Miami-Ohio 67
03/12 10:34:44 ET