RedHawks remain hopeful despite losing streak


The last seed in the Mid-American Conference tournament is a very real possibility for Miami University’s men’s basketball team. The RedHawks couldn’t care less.

The final round of regular-season games will be held Friday and Saturday, and if the MAC tournament started today, MU would be the 11th (and final) seed and open at Buffalo on Monday night. A Miami loss at Ohio on Saturday would clinch the last seed.

“That’s fine. It doesn’t matter. You’ve got to play somebody,” said RedHawks coach John Cooper, whose team is riding an eight-game losing streak and is 8-20 overall, 3-12 in the MAC.

“Akron and OU are the class of the league, but they’ve shown that they’re beatable,” Miami senior center Vince Legarza said. “We’re just trying to get going and get to Cleveland and make some noise. That’s what everyone’s thinking. We’ve all got a chance.”

Jon Harris (21) and Legarza (10) both had career-high scoring totals for MU in Tuesday night’s 72-58 loss at Akron (24-5, 14-1).

Harris was 8 of 12 from the field, 4 of 6 beyond the arc, while Legarza sank 5 of 7 field goals.

“That’s what you expect from a junior,” Cooper said of Harris’ performance. “He went and got some rebounds and everything. What I saw (Tuesday), that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

And what about Legarza, who added six rebounds in the best statistical game of his career?

“Good for him,” Cooper said. “He’s taking it on home the right way.”

Harris went 15 straight games without scoring in double figures. He broke that streak with a 16-point effort against Kent State last Saturday.

“I’m just playing with more confidence, playing more aggressive, playing loose,” Harris said. “Everybody’s been telling me to just relax and play, and I’ve been telling myself that every single day. I appreciate the guys sticking in there with me when I was struggling.”

Miami played without redshirt junior guard Allen Roberts on Tuesday. He injured his right knee last weekend, and it’s the same knee that sidelined him for the entire 2011-12 season.

Roberts is continuing to be evaluated. He’s listed as questionable for Saturday’s game.

Akron (1), Ohio (2), Western Michigan (3) and Kent State (4) have clinched their spots in the MAC tournament. The No. 5 seed will get a bye to Cleveland as well, and seeds 6-11 will play at campus sites Monday.

The RedHawks will travel to Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Ball State or Bowling Green in the first round.

Akron has won 20 of its last 21 games and spent some time in the Top 25. Yet the Zips haven’t been dominant on a game-by-game basis in the MAC.

“We’re not that much better (than everybody else). We’re just consistently better,” Akron coach Keith Dambrot said. “We’d probably win the series, but any of those teams can beat us on any given night.

“The other thing is, we kind of play the same against everybody. So when we go to the MAC tournament, can we ratchet up anymore? We play hard most every night, so we can’t really ratchet up unless we play better individually. Some other teams in this league have been able to take that jump in the MAC tournament. It’s a little harder for us.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Cubs beat up Reds bullpen in 13-9 win
Cubs beat up Reds bullpen in 13-9 win

Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez each hit their 22nd home run of the season, three Reds pitchers singled, the Reds outfield logged two more assists, but almost all of that was before the Chicago Cubs got warmed up. The defending World Series champions broke out for 10 nearly unanswered runs over the last four innings, all off the Cincinnati bullpen...
Trammell drives in five as Dragons throttle Hot Rods
Trammell drives in five as Dragons throttle Hot Rods

Blink and you just may miss Taylor Trammell, because if he makes contact, the 2016 first-round pick may not stop until he gets back home. Trammell, who hit an inside-the-park homer Aug. 15, thrilled the announced crowd of 7,440 at Fifth Third Field with another race around the bases during the Dragons’ 12-0 win Tuesday night. With Dayton leading...
HS Football: Mechanicsburg confident despite roster turnover
HS Football: Mechanicsburg confident despite roster turnover

Over half the roster has turned over at Mechanicsburg. Who could expect another winning season, league title and return to the playoffs? The people inside coach Kurt Forrest’s locker room, that’s who. They aren’t worried about what those on the other side of the door might assume. The tradition established in recent seasons is one...
Reds notes: Schebler trying to make up for lost time
Reds notes: Schebler trying to make up for lost time

Scott Schebler didn’t know how much his shoulder pain was affecting his swing until it was gone. The Reds right fielder returned Friday from 18 days on the disabled list and has gone 4-for-8 with three doubles, two runs, one RBI and a walk. That’s as many hits as he logged in 52 at-bats over his first 17 games since the All-Star break,...
HS Football: With 13 starters back, Triad coach ‘excited’ about 2017
HS Football: With 13 starters back, Triad coach ‘excited’ about 2017

The high school football season hasn’t started yet, but the Triad Cardinals are already ahead of the game. The Cardinals return seven starters on offense and six on defense from a team that at this point last season was still getting to know first-year coach Joe Cardinal. Cardinal was hired just before the start of two-a-day practices. Triad...
More Stories