The Bowling Green Falcons were riding high coming into their last meeting with the Miami RedHawks.

On Jan. 26, the Falcons arrived in Oxford on a 10-game win streak as the top team in the Mid-American Conference standings.

That was, until they were grounded by Miami.

The RedHawks allowed their second-lowest point total against a Division I team this season as they stunned Bowling Green 67-53 at Millett Hall to knock the Falcons out of first place.

Now, Miami visits the Falcons at the Stroh Center tonight, looking for a repeat performance.

“I thought the guys did a great job at carrying out their assignments as far as the game plan and everything else,” head coach Jack Owens said yesterday. “We made Bowling Green score over the top.”

And the Falcons did score over the top, to the tune of 45 percent shooting (10-of-22) from 3-point land against the RedHawks last month. Miami didn’t let Bowling Green have any success inside the paint, though, holding it to 30 percent (9-of-30) on 2-point shots.

Bowling Green redshirt sophomore guard Justin Turner, the MAC’s third-leading scorer with an average of 18.9 points per game, was held to just 12. That was good enough to lead the Falcons.

Miami’s offense didn’t exactly set the world on fire either, with the exception of sophomore guard Nike Sibande. He scored a game-high 25 points and was the lone RedHawk to record a double-digit point total.

To give his team a chance for a repeat win over the Falcons, Sibande will need to bounce back from Saturday’s loss at Akron, when he tallied just three points in 31 minutes.

In the two squads’ last matchup, Miami drew its second-highest home crowd of the season, giving it a strong home-court advantage. This time, though, the RedHawks will play at Bowling Green, where two of the last four home games have sold out.

“Obviously, Bowling Green is playing at a high level,” Owens said. “They’re drawing very well. It’s going to be a great environment. It should be an exciting game, and I know it’s one of those games that could go down to the wire. We’ll just have to continue doing the things we’re doing and staying the course.”

That course Owens always talks about is getting shorter and shorter. The RedHawks have entered their final four games of the regular season and are currently vying to host a first-round contest in the MAC Tournament. If the regular season ended today, they’d be the final team to receive a home game.

The road to defending that spot starts at Bowling Green tonight.

 

SCOUTING REPORT

THE GAME

Tipoff: 7 p.m. tonight at the Stroh Center

TV/Radio: ESPN+/Miami IMG Sports Network

 

MIAMI REDHAWKS

Record: 14-13 (6-8 MAC)

Offense: 71.9 ppg

Defense: 69.1 ppg

PROJECTED LINEUP

Player (position, height, key stat)

Darrian Ringo (guard, 6’2”, 7.7 ppg)

Nike Sibande (guard, 6’4”, 15.3 ppg)

Abdoulaye Harouna (guard, 6’5”, 5.3 ppg)

Dalonte Brown (forward, 6’7”, 12.0 ppg)

Bam Bowman (forward, 6’8”, 9.9 ppg)

 

BOWLING GREEN FALCONS

Record: 19-8 (11-3 MAC)

Offense: 79.2 ppg

Defense: 71.4 ppg

PROJECTED LINEUP

Player (position, height, key stat)

Justin Turner (guard, 6’4”, 18.9 ppg)

Dylan Frye (guard, 6’2”, 13.0 ppg)

Caleb Fields (guard, 6’2”, 4.5 ppg)

Daeqwon Plowden (forward, 6’6”, 5.9 ppg)

Demajeo Wiggins (forward, 6’10”, 12.9 ppg)

 

NCAA NET Ranking: Miami (143); Bowling Green (99)

vinelca@miamioh.edu

@ChrisAVinel

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