Published Sat, Mar 9, 2013 5:17 pm Dateline
Saturday afternoon’s game between the Miami RedHawks and the Ohio Bobcats, the final game of the regular season for both teams, marked the 191st time these two teams squared off on the hardwood. With a win Ohio could take a share of the MAC regular season title, but Miami wasn’t going to make it easy.
The first half started off slow, with sloppy play by both teams. At the second media timeout of the half, Ohio was hitting on just 31 percent of its shots. Miami connected on just 20 percent. Neither team was able to set a pace, or tone. The ‘Cats turned the ball over an eye-popping six times in the first eight minutes, but managed to lead 12-8 at the 11:30 mark.
Both teams struggled to control the ball, neither able to notch an assist-to-turnover ratio more than 1.0 at the halfway point. To make matters worse, neither team was able to convert on the turnovers. Miami tied the game up at 15 on a free throw by Will Felder with just more than eight minutes left in the half. Felder drained a three-pointer with just more than five minutes left to put Miami up 22-20. Felder picked up his offensive game as Ohio’s struggles continued. At halftime the RedHawks led 28-22.
First Half Key Stats:
· Ohio managed to connect on just 18 percent of its shots for the first half. The Bobcats missed 10 shots in a row in the final minutes of the half. The RedHawks made on 37 percent.
· The ‘Cats managed just a 0.4 assist-to-turnover ratio for the first half. Ohio averages a 1.42 ratio, good enough for eighth in the nation.
· Will Felder led all scorers with 14 points in the first half for the RedHawks.
In the final home game for the most-winning senior class in Ohio basketball history, head coach Jim Christian opted for an all-senior starting lineup. D.J. Cooper, Walter Offutt, Ivo Baltic, Reggie Keely and David McKinley all earned starts. For McKinley, it marks the first start in his career. The walk-on has been an important part of the team’s success over the past four seasons.