How in the world did they do it? How do they keep doing it? The Miami RedHawks, after losing 8 of their first 11 MAC games,have now won four straight games after a 19-point comeback that resulted in an 86-81 victory over Kent State.
The win in Millet Hall didn't come easy, and it was far from conventional, but the 'Hawks stormed back from down 64-45 with 7:34 left in the game, and that was when Miami went out of its mind.
Coach John Cooper's team outscored Kent 26-8 over the next 6:18 as a Jaryd Eustace 3-pointer pulled Miami within two at 73-71 with 1:12 to go.
Eustace fouled Derek Jackson to set off a frenzied final 32 seconds. Jackson went 1-2 from the line and then the Flashes put Eric Washington on the line, who then made 1-2, making it a two-point game once more. The RedHawks fouled Kris Brewer with 16 seconds left to put Kris Brewer on the line, who cooly and calmly notched both free ones. Of course, eight seconds later, Eustace came down and banged a trey again to bring the 'Hawks within one. One made Chris Ortiz free throw later (and a miss) Willie Moore, who was big all night, pulled down a defensive board and the sprint to the basket resulted in a Geovanie McKnight layup with 1.2 seconds left. In overtime, Washington hit five free throws and a jumper to help Miami pull away in the last minute of the extra period.
Guards Moore, Will Sullivan, McKnight and Washington put up 66 of Miami's 86, and Washington led the way for Miami with 24 and made 12 of his 18 free throw attempts, but came in most clutch at the end of the game. MAC refs syndrome hit hard as officials called 51 fouls that amounted to 78 free throws. Miami knocked down 34 of its 44 tries, hitting 17-23 in the first half alone as the team went into the break down 38-30.
Jimmy Hall, who seems to have shaken off the sickness that afflicted him, scored 15 of Kent's first 22 points in the first half, but was not quite the same force the rest of the game, finishing with 24 on the night.
|Points||Eric Washington (24)||Jimmy Hall (25)|
|Rebounds||Will Sullivan (8)||Chris Ortiz (11)|
|Assists||Willie Moore (5)||Derek Jackson (5)|
|Blocks||Willie Moore (1)||Khaliq Spicer (3)|
|Steals||Willie Moore (3)||Six tied with one|