OXFORD — A first half scoring torrent proved to be beneficial as Miami University’s men’s basketball team held off a furious second-half comeback from IUPUI and topped the Jaguars, 71-68, Saturday, Dec. 10 at Millett Hall. Miami improves to 5-5 on the season, while IUPUI falls to 3-6.
Four RedHawks posted double-digits in scoring with junior forward Logan McLane and freshman guard Michael Weathers both finishing with 15. Freshman forward Marcus Weathers scored 13, while junior forward Rod Mills Jr. had 11 points, including the game-winning basket. As a team, Miami shot 45.8 percent from the field and connected on eight 3-pointers.
The RedHawks came out steaking as they scored the first 13 points of the contest, highlighted by a corner 3-pointer from junior guard Abdoulaye Harouna. The Jaguars finally got on the board with a jumper at the 15:48 mark, but the Miami attack continued to finish strong at the rim and the lead ballooned to 20-3 with under 14 minutes remaining.
Eight straight points from Marcus Weathers helped extend the Miami lead to 30-13 at the midpoint of the half. A pair of 3-pointers from junior guard Dion Wade held off a short IUPUI charge and brought the score to 36-19 Miami with 5:37 left in the half.
The Jaguars began to score more regularly as the half neared its end, but a 3-pointer from Marcus Weathers with 50 seconds left gave Miami a 42-28 lead as the teams entered the locker room.
IUPUI continued to rally as the second half began, narrowing the margin to 11 points in the opening minute. Miami responded to the run as McLane laid in a pair of baskets to bring the lead back to 16 at the 15:41 mark. Freshman forward Bruno Solomun then pushed the advantage back over 20 points with a layup and 3-pointer from the top of the arc.
Bolstered by a dramatic slam dunk, IUPUI embarked upon a 9-0 run that put the lead under single-digits for the first time with under seven minutes to play.
The Jaguars’ run climbed to 16-1 as a 3-pointer was immediately followed by a steal and lay-in, making the score 60-57 Miami with five minutes left. After Michael Weathers hit two from the charity stripe, IUPUI hit a 3-pointer to make it a 1-point game, but Mills Jr. responded with one of his own to break the 10-minute field goal drought.
Even with the RedHawks back on the scoring side, the Jaguars continued to respond, keeping the tally at 68-65 Miami with just over a minute remaining. A Miami turnover in the final minute led to a IUPUI 3-pointer that tied the game at 68 with 28.5 seconds left.
Mills drove for a go-ahead lay-in with 19 seconds left and McLane grabbed a 3-point miss with 3.3 seconds remaining, sending him to the line with a 2-point lead. McLane split the pair and set IUPUI up for one more try with 3 seconds to go. The long attempt fell short and Miami escaped with the victory.
The RedHawks return to action on Sunday, Dec. 18 as they travel to Orlando, Fla. to face the UCF Knights at noon. The game will air live on ESPNU.