Johnson stands tall at foul line in Miami victory

Reggie Johnson didn’t make a field goal all night, but still found a way to help Miami University’s men’s basketball team get a win Saturday.

The freshman guard converted 8 of 10 free throws to offset an 0-of-3 effort from the floor as the visiting RedHawks topped Central Michigan 70-61 before a crowd of 2,253 at McGuirk Arena.

The Chippewas kept fouling the 64-percent free-throw shooter down the stretch, and Johnson responded by hitting 5 of 6 foul shots in the last 93 seconds.

“It was just the way the press was working because at that time, I was in at the point guard,” Johnson said. “I was usually the first person to get the ball, and they were fouling right off the inbounds.

“I was fine when I got to the line. Everything we’ve been down with — free throws, rebounding — we’ve been working at, so I felt like everybody that was in the lineup was probably confident because now everybody’s believing in each other.”

MU coach John Cooper was thrilled to see Johnson stand tall at crunch time.

“It’s about time. I was about ready to knock him upside his head,” Cooper said. “Eight of 10 … I’ve been waiting on that all year.”

A good effort: Cooper was happy with a lot of what he saw Saturday, but not everything.

“I thought we were competitive,” he said. “I thought we did a much better job on the boards. We had some turnovers that were a little costly, but we were able to come up and make some plays when they were necessary.

“I felt confident down the stretch, but I wanted our guys to understand how you have to take care of the ball. We only had 10 turnovers, but there were a couple possessions where we didn’t make the right decision. When you can do those things the right way, that’s how you close out a game.”

Scrappy Sullivan: Sophomore guard Will Sullivan scored 10 points and once again showed some grit by snagging six rebounds. It was only his third double-digit scoring effort of the season.

“It’s just kind of what happened in the swing of the game,” Sullivan said. “My role is not always to be one of the leading scorers. I’ve accepted my role to just be a guy that kind of fills up the stat sheet, help out with rebounding, get some steals on defense. It worked out today where I had a couple mismatches where I could take them to the paint.”

The 6-foot-3 Sullivan was 4 of 7 from the field and had just one turnover in 24 minutes.

Notebook: The Chippewas were 11 of 12 at the foul line in the second half, but just 4 of 11 in the opening 20 minutes. … No Miami player had more than two turnovers in the game. Central totaled 14. … Quinten Rollins and Allen Roberts both dished out three assists for the RedHawks. Rollins added three steals.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Dragons whitewash Whitecaps, next month’s playoff foe
Dragons whitewash Whitecaps, next month’s playoff foe

The West Michigan Whitecaps (36-1, 81-37) are enjoying one of the best seasons of any pro baseball team in 2017, and they’ll be waiting for the Dragons in the first round of the Midwest League playoffs in September. After clinching a wild card berth in the first half, the Dragons have stumbled through the second half (16-36, 57-65) with the league&rsquo...
Legendary Reds scout Gene Bennett dead at 89
Legendary Reds scout Gene Bennett dead at 89

Gene Bennett, the legendary scout who urged the Cincinnati Reds to draft Derek Jeter only to have his pleas fall on deaf ears, died Wednesday in Portsmouth, Ohio at 89. “Gene was one of the game’s great scouts,” Reds owner Bob Castellini said. “He loved baseball, loved his team and forever changed the way we looked for talented...
HS Results 8/16: Green leads Southeastern in tri-match

Avery Green’s 34 helped carry Southeastern in a boys golf tri-match at Locust Hills on Wednesday. Southeastern shot a 162, Cedarville 182 and Catholic Central 197. Green was the medalist, with Adam Wood of Cedarville getting runner-up at 40. Noah Myers (Cedarville) and Tray Thompson (Southeastern) each added a 41 for their teams. Boys Golf Fairmont...
Bengals rookie reluctant to talk, eager to shine
Bengals rookie reluctant to talk, eager to shine

There are two nights during Jordan Willis’ brief NFL career that illustrate who he is as a person. The first was April 28, the day the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Willis in the third round out of Kansas State. While other prospective picks were partying with friends and family while watching the draft on television, Willis was sitting alone in...
Springfield North football: Top 7 players in Panthers history
Springfield North football: Top 7 players in Panthers history

As rivalries go, Springfield North and South had it going on as good as any in the state for its time in the spotlight. Football games at Evans Stadium on Clifton Avenue were a must-see event. Growing up to be a celebrated Panther or Wildcat was a handed-down and expected tradition. North always seemed to be in catch-up mode to South in football, especially...
More Stories