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Miami answers Ohio's 2nd half run, wins by 20

Bobcats get within 6 after trailing by 20 at the break

OXFORD – Down by 20 at halftime, Ohio made a run to get within six, but Miami answered and ran away with a 79-59 victory Saturday at Millet Hall.

After the RedHawks built a 47-27 halftime lead, the Bobcats began the second half strong, getting to within 53-47 with 13 minutes remaining. Miami, though, answered with a 9-0 run in the next minute and a half and had no trouble after that.

Teyvion Kirk led the Bobcats (11-11, 3-7 Mid-American Conference) with 18 points, six rebounds and five steals but also six turnovers, and Jason Carter had 16 points and six rebounds. The Bobcats struggled offensively again, shooting 35.6 percent (21 of 59) from the field and 52.4 percent (11 of 21) from the foul line.

"We had a few turnovers and a couple missed easier shots," Ohio coach Saul Phillips said. "It's a familiar narrative and we're grasping to find answers to that right now. This group is pushing awfully hard right now."

Bam Bowman led Miami (13-11, 5-6 MAC) with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Darrian Ringo had 14 points, five assists and four steals, and Nike Sibande finished with 13 points and six rebounds. The RedHawks shot 46.2 percent from the field and got to the foul line often, going 24 of 31 (77.4 percent).

Miami asserted itself early, using a 7-0 run to take a 15-6 lead less than seven minutes into the game. It extended its advantage to 29-13 with 7:45 left in the first half. Ohio got to within 36-25 at the 3:44 mark but the RedHawks closed the half on a 11-2 run.

Kirk and Ben Vander Plas had back-to-back 3s early in the second half, and Kirk hit two free throws to get the Bobcats to within 12. After four straight Miami points, Ohio scored 10 straight, all of them by Carter and Kirk, to get within six.

"I think what we talked about at halftime were just some very simple adjustments and understanding that we had 20 minutes to play," Phillips said. "We weren't going to get it by squeezing any harder then we already are and to just go out and play basketball.

Harouna Abdoulaye stopped Ohio’s run with a jumper and then a minute and half later knocked down a 3-pointer to put the RedHawks back up by double digits. Bowman and Lairy Mekhi added baskets that made it 62-47. Ohio got no closer than 12 after that.

In addition to shooting poorly, Ohio was thumped on the boards 47-29, but had fewer turnovers, 17-12.

"When we miss a few shots it's effecting way too much right now," Carter said. "It's to the point where it just kills our energy on both sides. That's the main thing right now. We have to make shots. We'll come in tomorrow and work on it."

The Bobcats will try to bounce back when they host Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Convo.

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