Miami-Ohio (3-3) at Evansville (4-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 5, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ford Center (11,000) -- Evansville, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: Miami 0-0, Evansville 0-0. Away Record: Miami 0-0, Evansville 0-0. Neutral Record: Miami 0-0, Evansville 0-0. Conference Record: Miami 0-0, Evansville 0-0. Series Record: Evansville leads, 8-4.
GAME NOTES: The Miami-Ohio RedHawks continue their road trip with a non- conference bout versus the Evansville Purple Aces at the Ford Center.
John Cooper's first season at the helm of Miami's program has been up-and-down so far. The RedHawks dropped back to .500 and a 3-3 record with a 57-56 loss at IUPU-Fort Wayne on Saturday. Miami has picked up wins over William & Mary and James Madison prior to the setback. Cooper's defensive philosophy has already led to noticeable changes as the team set a school-record with 22 steals versus Grambling State earlier this season. Miami is scoring 63.7 ppg on only 38.8 percent shooting from the floor while allowing opponents to score 67.5 ppg on 47.2 percent field goal accuracy.
The Purple Aces had their four-game winning streak snapped their last time out as they fell, 79-72, to Colorado State on the road. Evansville is now 4-3 after also enduring losses at Notre Dame (58-49) and versus Buffalo (56-50). Coach Marty Simmons has guided the team to wins over Yale, Western Illinois, Tennessee Tech, and Alabama A&M to give the squad a 4.4 point per game average margin of victory. Although the team has a winning record, that could change in a hurry if it does not improve on the boards. Evansville is losing the rebounding battle by 6.2 boards per contest.
Wednesday�s meeting will be the 13th matchup between the RedHawks and Purple Aces, with Evansville holding an 8-4 advantage. Miami has dropped six of the last seven meetings, including a 77-75 loss last year in Oxford.
Miami came up just short its last time out, as Will Felder missed a three- point attempt at the buzzer that would have lifted the team to a win. Felder finished with a game-high 15 points to go with eight rebounds. Junior guard Allen Roberts added 11 points in the setback. Roberts is pacing the team with 12.3 ppg while freshman Reggie Johnson trails closely with 11 ppg. Junior point guard Quinten Rollins is leading the Mid-American Conference with a 3.13 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Purple Aces played well on the offensive end versus CSU as they drained 50.9 percent of their field goal attempts including 10-of-22 from beyond the arc. However, they did miss 6-of-12 free threw attempts and lose the rebounding battle 41-22. Senior swingman Colt Ryan paced the team with 20 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field while freshman center Egidijus Mockevicius and senior guard Ned Cox tallied 10 points each. D.J. Ballentine leads the team on the season with 11.3 ppg. Cox and Ryan both carry double- digit scoring averages as well.
This should be a close bout just like last season's thriller. The RedHawks have shown they can play, but they lack the consistency that separates the winners from the losers. The purple Aces have yet to pick up a victory of great significance and lost to a 2-7 Buffalo team at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Miami-Ohio 71, Evansville 67
12/05 10:31:32 ET