College basketball: Miami falls at home to Bowling Green

Credit: Marc Lebryk

Credit: Marc Lebryk

OXFORD — Travis Steele smacked his palm on the courtside broadcast table while waiting to do his post-game interview.

Luckily, the broadcast was in a commercial break.

The second-year Miami men’s basketball coach knew a missed opportunity when he saw one.

The RedHawks were outscored, 15-2, in the last 5:12 and 11-0 in the last 4:04 on the way to a 78-73 Mid-American Conference loss to Bowling Green before a crowd of 813 at Millett Hall in Oxford on Tuesday.

“Give Bowling Green credit,” Steele said during the post-game media session. “They have a really nice team. They’re old and big.”

That wasn’t what had left Steele so frustrated.

“I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but I’m tired of the officiating,” he went on, referring to 6-foot-8 senior center Anderson Mirambeaux fouling out with 2:18 left in the game. “Our big guy gets called for some horrendous fouls. Still, we’ve got to be better. Bowling Green is one of the better teams in the league.

“We should’ve won that game. We deserved to win. You have to know how to finish. We’ll show them the film. There were some teachable moments.”

Miami was without junior guard Bradley Dean and freshman guard Evan Ipsaro, both out with injuries. Steele described Ipsaro as day-to-day, while Dean might miss another week.

The RedHawks still haven’t won more than two consecutive games this season.

Junior guard Marcus Hill, who ranked second in the MAC in scoring going into the game, scored a game-high 23 points for Bowling Green (13-4 overall, 4-1 MAC), which is tied for third in the MAC with Western Michigan behind first-place Akron and Toledo, both 5-0.

“Hill is relentless,” Steele said.

Freshman center Reece Potter led four RedHawks in double figures with a career-high 17 points. Sophomore guard Ryan Mabrey scored and Mirambeaux and graduate wing Darweshi Hunter each added 12 before fouling out.

“We’ve got to learn how to finish games,” the 7-foot-1 Potter said.

The RedHawks were sixth in the conference. Both teams had won their last two games.

The RedHawks (8-9, 2-3) are scheduled to play conference games at Ball State on Saturday and at Central Michigan on Tuesday before returning home for a game against Akron on Jan. 27.

Ball State is 9-8, 1-4.

The RedHawks led by as many eight points twice in the second half, including 71-63 on a Hunter free throw with 5:35 left in the game, but they could manage only Mabrey’s floater with 4:04 left while the Falcons were piecing together their game-closing run.

The game featured eight lead changes and seven ties. The loss snapped Miami’s five-game winning streak over the Falcons in Oxford.

Miami, which went into the game first in the MAC and 25th in the nation in bench scoring with an average of 29.5 points per game, outscored Bowling Green, 31-10, off the bench.

Bowling Green led by as many as 11 points, 29-18, with 8:05 left in the first half before Potter scored on a dunk and back-to-back 3-pointers to lead a Miami comeback capped by Hunter’s jumper at the buzzer that left the RedHawks with a 37-36 halftime lead.

Those were Hunter’s only points of the first half. Potter scored 10 points before halftime.

“I felt like I got into a rhythm early,” Potter said. “My teammates found me.”

The Falcons sank four of their first five 3-point shots and just more than nine minutes elapsed before they collected their first foul.


Miami at Ball State, 2 p.m., ESPN+, 980, 1450

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