Both the Miami RedHawks and the Bowling Green Falcons own season-long winning streaks. After a Saturday evening affair at the Stroh Center, only one team will leave with a winning streak still intact.
Miami has won two in a row, having defeated Ball State and Central Michigan on the road and in Oxford, respectively. The two-game winning streak ties a season-high but isn't really something to celebrate just yet; the Cardinals and Chippewas are a combined 0-9 in conference play. That being said, the RedHawks have performed decently in MAC play thus far, giving Western Michigan all it could handle in a one-point overtime loss and taking a lead into halftime against Akron. Miami is easily a few bounces away from a 4-1 conference record that would be tied with the East-leading Zips.
The Falcons are also riding a streak that ties a season-high, this one being a three gamer. They took down Central Michigan to snap a four-game skid then followed that up with victories over Western Michigan and Ohio. Much like its counterparts, Bowling Green's two losses were both well within its grasp at various points. A three from Anthony Henderson tied the game at 36-36 against EMU well into the second half, but the Eagles surged ahead and never looked back. In their next game they held Northern Illinois to just 33 percent shooting, but the Falcons themselves shot just 29 percent and an abysmal 43 percent from the line.
Neither team jumps out statistically in the offensive department, with both Miami and Bowling Green ranking in the bottom quarter of the league in points per game. The key to Saturday's matchup will be turnovers, and expect a lot of them. BG ranks dead last in the conference in turnovers with 260, but also ranks first in steals. Miami finds itself in the middle of the pack in turnovers but slots right behind Bowling Green in steals, so this could be a game where taking care of the ball and finishing on fast-breaks will be top priorities for both squads.
In terms of players, this will be just the fifth game of the season for RedHawk senior Bill Edwards, whose career in Oxford has been marred by numerous injuries. After dropping 24 points in his debut against Western Michigan, he has scored just 26 total points in his other three appearances. If he can match the production of leading scorer Will Felder (which he has proven in the past he is more than capable of doing) than the RedHawks will have a 1-2 punch that has the potential to be highly effective from long range and down on the blocks.
With both teams having a propensity towards picking their opponents pockets and with at least a share of a second-place spot in the East division up for grabs, expect an intense, exciting game on Saturday.