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Miami-Ohio (8-21) at Bowling Green (13-18)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, March 11, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stroh Center (4,280) -- Bowling Green, Ohio. Television: BCSN. Home Record: Miami 5-8, BGSU 11-4. Away Record: Miami 3-13, BGSU 1-12. Neutral Record: Miami 0-0, BGSU 1-2. Conference Record: Miami 3-13, BGSU 7-9. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 77-52.
GAME NOTES: The 11th-seeded Miami-Ohio RedHawks hope to begin a Cinderella Story as they take on the sixth-seeded Bowling Green Falcons at the Stroh Center in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
Whichever team comes out on top will meet the winner of the No. 10 Northern Illinois at No. 7 Eastern Michigan matchup on Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland in the second round of the tourney.
Miami-Ohio was disappointed again on Saturday as it dropped its ninth straight game to fall to 8-21 overall and 3-13 in league play. That record in league action tied the RedHawks with Northern Illinois for last place overall in the conference, with the RedHawks in last place in the East Division. Miami was dealt a 58-54 loss by Ohio over the weekend despite a 20-point showing from Will Felder.
John Cooper's team has been without their leading scorer Allen Roberts (12.7 ppg) for the past two games and his return for the tourney is not guaranteed. Miami was outscored by an average of 9.0 ppg this season and is the worst rebounding squad in the MAC as well. Felder posts 11.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per tilt with a 52.7 percent field goal efficiency rating, but the next two leading scorers are freshman guard Reggie Johnson (8.3 ppg) and junior forward Jon Harris (8.1 ppg), who are both talented by rather inconsistent.
These schools split their season series as the RedHawks downed BGSU, 63-60, at home on Jan. 16 before the Falcons exacted their revenge with a 52-44 decision on Feb. 27. Miami holds a sizeable 77-52 all-time series edge coming into the tourney.
Louis Orr's Falcons closed on the regular season on a positive note as they downed Buffalo, 76-65, at home to end a two-game skid. Jordon Crawford netted 26 points and swiped four steals in the win while A'uston Calhoun and Cameron Black chipped in 15 and 13 points, respectively. The Falcons outscored the Bulls in the paint, 44-26.
The 6-foot-7 Calhoun leads the team in both scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg), while Crawford runs the show from the point, finding shots for himself (15.1 ppg) and others (4.4 apg). Crawford's shot selection can be characterized as questionable at times though, as they 5-foot-6 senior is making only 39.6 percent of his field goal tries with a 32.1 percent clip from beyond the arc dragging that mark down. The scoring options are limited after those two, as Chauncey Orr (7.5 ppg) and Richaun Holmes (6.4 ppg) provided limited support, although Holmes' is more known for his shot-blocking prowess, setting a single-season school record with 72 blocks this year.
BGSU has been up and down in terms of performance and back-and-forth when it comes to style of play, but it has been consistently good at the Stroh Center this season. Miami has come close to ending its slide on multiple occasions, so expect a spirited game.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 65, Miami-Ohio 60
03/11 10:32:12 ET