Oxford, OH – With little to play for besides pride and positioning for the upcoming Mid-American Conference tournament, Miami (OH) and Akron traded punches for much of the contest before the Redhawks were able to escape with a 65-61 win.
The first half featured a series of runs, with Akron going on an 11-1 run following an opening basket by Miami (OH), only to have the Redhawks storm back to take the lead just before the midway point of the first half. Miami (OH) was able to push the half-time lead to 27-20, mainly on the back of 6’7” senior forward Will Felder who was able to cash-in on offensive-board put-backs and mid-range jumpers.
The Redhawks were able to stretch the lead to ten points in the opening minutes of the second half until the Zips were able to take advantage of their interior size, amassing several second-chance points off of offensive rebounds and by pounding the ball inside to 6’7” senior forward Demetrius Treadwell and 6’6” senior forward Quincy Diggs for easy, high-percentage shots. For much of the latter part of the second half, the teams traded baskets, with Miami (OH) eventually holding-off a late charge to win 65-61.
Felder led the Redhawks with 16 points and contributed six rebounds in the hard-fought contest. The only reliable scorer that Miami (OH) has had all season, scoring at a 14.5/game clip, Felder uses quick inside moves and excellent positioning to maneuver around taller and less-quick defenders, where he executes his soft touch around the rim for easy buckets. His perimeter game shows flashes and can stick an occasional, open three-pointer. Felder also leads the Redhawks in rebounding at 6.8 rpg.
Miami (OH) got contributions tonight from a trio of guards. 6’3” junior Will Sullivan led the Redhawks in both points (16) and rebounds (7), hitting a couple of three-point shots and finishing in transition. 6’3” sophomore wing Geovonie McKnight delivered 13 points, while 6’0” senior PG Quinten Rollins led Miami (OH) with six assists and seven rebounds.
In a losing effort, Treadwell posted another double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Noted for his ferociousness on the boards, both offensively and defensively, he ranks amongst the conference leaders at 8.9 rpg. Treadwell (14.6 ppg) was able to take advantage of the Redhawks’ limited interior defense to stick-back several missed shots and execute his toughness within the paint.
Rounding-out the efforts for the Zips were 6’4” junior guard Deji Ibitayo, who poured-in a season-high 14 points and 6’6” senior forward Quincy Diggs, who notched a game-high 12 rebounds. The Akron bench actually out-scored Miami (OH) 25-9, but for what it’s worth, the game really hinged on home-court advantage, where the Redhawks were able to hold service.
Akron (17-11/9-6) is going to need some help in the season’s final two weeks to make-up a two-game deficit to the East Division leaders, Buffalo, but if not, the Zips present a tough matchup in the MAC tournament. Miami (OH) (11-15/7-8) is an unlikely candidate to inflict damage in the conference tournament, but tonight’s win went a long ways in ensuring that they get a favorable first-round matchup.
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We are looking for interns and sales associates. If you’re interested contact us and forward your resume. Thanks to journal-news.com for the Felder photo.