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Miami 89, Ball State 75: Hey Look, A Bench

(recap) — Welcome to the world of meaningful minutes, Josh Sewell. Did you enjoy yourself? Was it everything you dreamed of back in Kentucky? Good, because without you, this struggling Ball State team might've been yet another team to curiously win in Oxford. The stars did their thing, but Sewell was the difference.

The little-used freshman had just 22 points in game time this year, and most of those were accrued the backends of blowout affairs. With Charlie Coles finally realizing that a five-man rotation is probably ill-advised for the welfare of his starters, Sewell was given 31 minutes and sank a total of 20 points. This took some of the pressure off guys like Julian Mavunga and Nick Winbush, who were still the primary go-to scorers but they didn't have to do it alone.

Will Sewell be the answer for this year? Probably not. As I've said before, great teams out of freshmen is usually little more than bonus points — although some freshmen provide the bonus more than others. MU remains holding a handicapped hand in the MAC East, but the 5-3 record puts them just a half game behind the three-way first-place daisy chain.

And BSU actually played pretty well. Offensively, at least. They limited turnovers, made free throws and Randy Davis found the open man several times, and that man was usually Jauwan Scaife. Who the heck allows 89 points to Miami? But that's four in a row that they've dropped, and their status as Confernece Favorite is evaporating fast. Better add some water to that phenomenon fast. Next three games: at home against Buffalo, at Bowling Green, at Akron. These are all winnable games which exist here.

Wednesday's games:
7 p.m. — Akron at Eastern Michigan
7 p.m. — OHIO at Central Michigan
8 p.m. — Bowling Green at Northern Illinois
(Toledo-Buffalo was moved from Wednesday night to Thursday at 2 p.m.)