Miami notes: McGhee emerging from ‘coma’ for RedHawks

The 6-foot-11 redshirt junior, who scored six points during a five-game stretch earlier in the year, tallied a season-high 10 points Wednesday night in the RedHawks’ 70-69 loss to Massachusetts at Millett Hall.

McGhee converted five of his six field goals and is 12 of 13 from the floor over the last five games.

“I had a low point in the beginning of the season,” McGhee said. “I’d say not even a slump, maybe a coma. But these last few games, (my shots) have been falling a lot better. It’s feeling good.”

Asked what’s been the difference of late, the North Ridgeville native said confidence. “When you make that first one, you start getting it back,” McGhee added.

Hot shooter: MU’s Allen Roberts put up 21 points, two shy of his career high, and converted five of his nine 3-pointers. He missed last season with a knee injury.

“When it comes to my jump shot, I’m feeling a little bit more boost in my knee, and I’m able to explode a little bit more off the ground,” Roberts said. “I don’t know if that’s just the season coming along or just me working on it. I just feel more lift on my legs.”

He had 11 points in the first half and sat out the last 5:46 after picking up his second foul. During his absence, Miami’s 23-22 lead turned into a 37-29 halftime deficit.

Beyond the arc: The RedHawks were 7 of 25 from 3-point range, while the Minutemen were 11 of 33.

“(Thirty-three) was way too many,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “I thought in the first half when we stopped shooting 3s, that’s when we actually built our lead. I thought we settled a little bit.”

Tough defeat: Miami coach John Cooper liked much of what he saw Wednesday, even as the RedHawks’ two-game winning streak came to an end.

“I was really pleased with how we came out in the second half,” Cooper said. “We were right there, but that’s part of learning how to win. It’s not a perfect team, but we’ve got to be extremely competitive.”

Is Miami ready to begin Mid-American Conference play next week? “We’ll see,” Cooper said. “It’ll be my first tour through the MAC also. This is a group that was picked to come in last by a landslide. We’ll play the games, I promise you that. We’ll show up and see what happens.”

Notebook: All nine UMass wins this season have come by single digits. … Quinten Rollins earned Cooper’s praise for his defensive effort against Massachusetts guard Chaz Williams, who scored 10 points, 6.1 below his average. Rollins had five points, four boards and four assists. … Miami committed just nine turnovers, five less than the Minutemen. … UMass forged a 17-6 edge in offensive rebounds.

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