By Jack Brewer, For The Miami Student
On a day when the late Charlie Coles’ jersey was retired in Millett Hall, the Miami University basketball team honored him with a 77-66 victory over Ohio University.
The backcourt led the way offensively for Miami (9-16, 4-8 Mid-American Conference). Senior Will Sullivan scored 15 points, while juniors Geovonie McKnight and Eric Washington scored 17 points each. Freshman Zach McCormick contributed 10 points off the bench to provide a spark to the RedHawk offense in the second half. In a season in which the RedHawks have struggled with turnovers, they committed only six while forcing the Bobcats (9-14, 4-8 MAC) to cough it up 12 times.
“We just wanted to come out and be aggressive, as aggressive as possible,” McKnight said after the game. “Usually, turnovers come when you’re indecisive, so we just decided to be aggressive and let it play out.”
After trailing by as many as 14 in the first half and 41-38 at the half, the RedHawks came out in the second half with a much more physical style of play by attacking the basket and creating quality shots. They used a 17-2 run to go up 64-50 with 9:29 remaining in the game.
With the more aggressive play style, the RedHawks made over half of their shots, finishing the game with a 55.1 shooting percentage. On the other side, the Bobcats made 45.8 percent of their shots from the field, including 10 makes from beyond the arc.
“We decided to go small and go with the pressure. As it played out, that group brought us tremendous energy,” head coach John Cooper said. “We were able to score off of their turnovers. We were able to convert those. We didn’t turn the ball over, which was really important because they’re very good in transition.”
Three players scored in double figures for the Bobcats, including sophomore forward Antonio Campbell, senior guard Javarez Willis and senior forward Maurice Ndour. Campbell led the Bobcats with 17 points, followed by Willis with 14 and Ndour with 11.
The win snapped a three-game skid for the RedHawks, who are back on the court on Wednesday at Bowling Green State University. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.