It was a troubling loss for a number of reasons. No. 1 was a lack of emotion.
Miami University’s men’s basketball team got run over by visiting Ball State in the second half Saturday afternoon, absorbing its third straight defeat by an 82-62 margin at Millett Hall.
“In many ways, I feel like we have hit a wall, just because I don’t see the life,” said MU coach John Cooper, whose squad fell to 7-11 overall and 2-4 in the Mid-American Conference East Division. “I feel like we have more life on the road, which is interesting.”
The RedHawks’ first-year coach said this season reminds him of his first year at Tennessee State, where his Tigers went 9-23.
“I think I understand what needs to take place and that it doesn’t happen overnight,” Cooper said. “Having said that, is it frustrating? Absolutely. Is it disappointing when a team makes a run on you on your wood and you’re not able to muster up the effort, the competitive desire, to combat that run? Absolutely.”
Majok Majok (21), Jesse Berry (20), Chris Bond (16) and Jauwan Scaife (14) powered the offense for the Cardinals, who ended a four-game losing streak and boosted their record to 8-10 overall and 2-4 in the MAC West.
Ball State shot 57.7 percent from the field, 68.0 percent after intermission, and sank 9 of 18 treys. The visitors finished the contest with a 24-8 surge.
“Wow … I really feel like we’ve been overdue for this,” BSU coach Billy Taylor said. “We’ve had a number of games where we’ve been so close, and for us to finally put it all together is really fulfilling for me to see as a coach.”
Majok grabbed eight rebounds to pace the Cardinals’ 37-17 board domination.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been part of a 17-rebound performance in 20 years of coaching,” said Cooper, overlooking MU’s 13-rebound effort at Evansville this season. “Their effort was way better, point blank. They were just much better than us in all facets of the game.”
Will Felder scored 14 points, Quinten Rollins had 12 and Reggie Johnson added 10 for the RedHawks, who shot 44.2 percent from the floor and continued to struggle (6 of 21) from long distance.
“I feel like all our losses have been games we should’ve won in MAC play,” Rollins said. “At home, we’ve dropped three straight. We’ve just got to figure it out and find a way and get back to the drawing board on Monday.”
Western Michigan at Miami, 7 p.m., 1450, 1230, 980, 101.3