Miami fumbles away chance to beat Western Michigan

With fewer than 10 1/2 minutes left in their basketball game against Western Michigan, the Miami RedHawks seemed to be well on their way to being 2-0 in the MAC for the first time since the 2010-2011 season.

Then their shooting touch grew as cold as the outside temperature and they handled the ball as if they were wearing mittens. Miami (8-7, 1-1) missed seven of its next eight field-goal attempts, opening the door for the Broncos to put together a 21-4 run on the way to a 67-62 win.

“They didn’t change anything,” junior guard Darrian Ringo said of the Broncos (10-5, 2-0). “We just broke down and allowed then to go on a run. I turned it over too much. I’ve got to be better — more disciplined.

“I felt like that was a game we should have won. We’ve got to get better as a team.”

“I liked our fight,” first-year coach Jack Owens said. “We just didn’t finish the job. We had the game under control. I told the guys we’ve got to learn from this. We had too many defensive breakdowns.

“We allowed a good team — a well-coached team — to come into our place and beat us. That’s not going to sit well. The effort was there. Everything was in place to win the game. We just didn’t finish it off.”

Ringo, fifth in the nation with an average of 7.9 assists per game, finished with a team-high 14 points and game-high 11 assists, but he had almost as many turnovers (four) as assists (five) in the second half. The Broncos outscored Miami 12-2 in points off turnovers in the second half and 16-7 in the game.

“He’s a 2-1 assist-to-turnover ratio guy, but we had a stretch where we committed too many turnovers,” Owens said. “Sometimes, you try to hit a home run when you just need to be solid.”

The RedHawks hadn’t trailed and were tied just once at 2-2 before Ringo’s layup gave them a 53-42 lead with 10:14 left. Western Michigan junior guard Bryce Moore, who led four Broncos in double figures with 16 points, gave them their first lead at 57-56 with a personal 8-0 run, which he capped with two free throws with 3:46 left. Western Michigan went on to lead 63-56 with 1:18 remaining.

Miami, which has lost three of its last four games, returns to action with a 7 p.m. home game against Kent State on Tuesday.

• In Saturday’s opener, five Miami women reached double figures, but that balance wasn’t enough to overcome Central Michigan’s whopping rebound advantage as the Chippewas coasted to an 84-66 MAC win.

Junior forward Kendall McCoy led the RedHawks with 18 points. Sophomore guard Lauren Dickerson finished with 13 and senior guard Kayla Brown, junior guard Baleigh Reid and sophomore forward Savannah Kluesner each added 10 for Miami (9-5, 1-2), which has lost two straight games after winning seven in a row.

Central Michigan (11-3, 3-0) outrebounded Miami, 42-30, leading to a 24-6 advantage in second-chance points.

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