Miami-Ohio (7-8) at Eastern Michigan (8-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (8,754) -- Ypsilanti, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Miami 5-2, EMU 8-2. Away Record: Miami 2-6, EMU 0-7. Neutral Record: Miami 0-0, EMU 0-0. Conference Record: Miami 2-1, EMU 1-2. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 47-19.
GAME NOTES: The Miami-Ohio RedHawks aim for their third straight triumph on Saturday as they storm the Convocation Center for a Mid-American Conference matchup with the Eastern Michigan Eagles.
Miami owns a 47-19 lead in the all-time series with Eastern Michigan and is 20-11 when playing in Ypsilanti. The RedHawks have won 16 straight against EMU, dating back to a 92-77 loss to the Eagles in the 1998 MAC Tournament championship game.
The RedHawks were upset by Northern Illinois, 72-61, in their MAC opener, but they have bounced back with consecutive triumphs over Buffalo (58-57) and Bowling Green (63-60) to climb to a 2-1 league record. Coach John Cooper's unit trailed the Falcons for the majority of the game until Will Felder hit a jumper to tie it at 55 with 5:23 remaining on the clock. Felder finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, Drew McGhee added 14 points off the bench, and Allen Roberts also got into the mix with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field.
Miami is average 3.9 points less than its opposition this season despite being just one game under the .500 mark. The RedHawks are the most generous team in the MAC towards their foes, allowing 69.7 ppg on 46.6 percent shooting from the field. Roberts is an all-conference caliber guard, leading Miami with 13.3 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting from the field. Felder (10.9 ppg) and freshman guard Reggie Johnson (9.3 ppg) are both capable of filling it up on occasion as well.
Eastern Michigan finally notched its first win since entering 2013 on Wednesday as it defeated Central Michigan, 58-52, at home. The Eagles rose to 8-9 overall and 1-2 in the MAC with the victory which puts them just one game out of first place the East Division standings. EMU is clearly much better at home, where it is 8-2 on the season. Senior guard Derek Thompson is leading the way offensively, tallying 11.5 points per game. Pacing the Eagles in rebounding is junior center Da'Shonte Riley who is posting 6.1 boards and 2.3 blocks per game.
While EMU is still under the .500 mark, it is leading the MAC in scoring defense at just 61.3 ppg. The Eagles' defensive prowess was on display their last time out, as they held CMU to just 32.2 percent shooting from the floor. Their own offensive output was much better, as they went 16-of-32 from the floor and added 20 points at the charity stripe. Jalen Ross netted a team-best 13 points, James Harris added 11 points and six rebounds, and Glenn Bryant registered 10 points and five blocks.
The RedHawks' inability to slow down their opposition will not hurt them too much against the Eagles, who have only a mild amount of offensive potency. However, Felder and Roberts will find themselves frustrated by EMU's stingy defense. This could be another close one in what has already been a thrilling MAC season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Miami-Ohio 65, Eastern Michigan 62
01/19 10:36:59 ET