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Frosh Johnson reaches double digits in Miami defeat

Reggie Johnson started to regain his shooting stroke Saturday afternoon. Sort of.

The Miami University freshman guard was just 7 of 30 from the floor in the RedHawks men’s basketball team’s previous four games before hitting 4 of 10 shots in an 82-62 loss to Ball State at Millett Hall.

Johnson scored 10 points, his first double-digit performance since Jan. 9, and sank 2 of 5 attempts beyond the arc.

“It’s been tough, but it’s different in (Mid-American Conference) play, with a lot of teams knowing as a unit what you’re going to do,” Johnson said. “Everybody’s been telling me to take a deep breath and I tried to do that tonight, but it still wasn’t good enough.

“As a team, I think it’s just time for everybody to relax. I think everybody’s pretty much going through a frustrating time, and it’s just time to take a deep breath and just play basketball.”

Turning it over: Ball State collected 19 turnovers and MU had 16 in what was occasionally a sloppy affair. The Cardinals had 13 steals, led by Chris Bond’s five.

Miami coach John Cooper said too many of his squad’s miscues led directly to points for the visitors.

“It was live-ball turnovers that led to buckets,” Cooper said. “You’ll always hear me say this: No one likes turning the ball over, but you’re a lot better off throwing it out of bounds than you are giving it up in a live-ball situation.”

Unfriendly arc: The RedHawks were just 6 of 21 (28.6 percent) on 3-pointers, the 10th time this season they’ve been under 30 percent from that range.

Ball State, meanwhile, was 6 of 11 in the first half and 3 of 7 after the break. Jesse Berry fired in six treys on nine shots.

“I thought we had a nice balance going of inside-out, and that’s the way we want to play,” Cardinals coach Billy Taylor said.

BSU was like most of Miami’s opponents these days, clogging the middle and making MU shoot from long distance.

“In many ways, teams sink in on us,” Cooper said. “It’s no secret. They’re going to run Allen (Roberts) off the line. They’re going to run Reggie (Johnson) off the line. When we drive the ball, typically it looks like we’re driving into a crowd. You watch opposing teams play — you watch Ohio U., you watch Ball State — and they have enough shooters on the court that they’re able to space you, so when they drive, there’s not as much resistance.”

Rout on the boards: Ball State forged a 37-17 advantage in rebounding. The glass has been a big problem for Miami all season.

“To have such a huge rebounding margin on the road is uncommon,” Taylor said. “It allowed us to get out in transition, and we were able to play at a pretty fast tempo today. I thought our big guys were really physical. It’s nice to see our guys take the coaching, the things that we’ve been talking about in terms of blocking out and going out and making contact, and then pursue the basketball.”

Notebook: Saturday’s attendance was 1,573. … RedHawks guard Quinten Rollins’ 12 points were a season high. He also totaled four assists. … Will Felder and Jon Harris paced MU with four rebounds apiece. Miami managed just six offensive boards in the game, three by Felder.

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