By MIKE SMITH
OXFORD, Ohio -- Four days after committing 24 turnovers in a lopsided loss at Eastern Michigan, the Miami RedHawks turned turnovers in their favor on the way to a 77-66 win over Ohio University Saturday at Millett Hall.
The victory broke a seven-game winning streak for Ohio in the series and also marked the sixth Bobcat loss in seven road conference games this season.
"It was my first time beating them since I’ve been here. It feels good to get a win like that, especially on a special day like this," Miami guard Geovonie McKnight said.
Miami, which retired former head coach Charlie Cole’s number in an emotional ceremony at halftime, committed just six miscues (two in the second stanza) against the Bobcats. Ohio had 12 turnovers overall and seven in the final period. The result was a 23-7 RedHawk advantage in points off turnovers.
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Miami also benefited at the foul line, sinking 18-of-26 shots while OU made 2-of-3 on the day.
"You're not going to win a game with that," Phillips said. "We had a game the other day when we beat Akron. They went (to the line) six times and made zero. You look at that number, and that's where everything starts on the stat sheet. ... You go down 16 points at the free throw line (and) you've got to make a lot of shots to make up for that."
Between free throws and points off turnovers, Miami owned a 23-point advantage.
Four RedHawks reached double figures, with McKnight and Eric Washington scoring 17 points each to lead the way. Will Sullivan tallied 15, while freshman Zach McCormick knocked down all 10 of his points while fueling MU’s second half surge.
Ohio sophomore Antonio Campbell scored 13 of his team high 17 points after intermission. He also totaled 10 rebounds for his second double-double in the last three games. Point guard Javarez Willis tallied 14, while forward 6-9 senior forward Maurice Ndour added 11 points and nine rebounds.
Miami steadied the ship late in the stanza and finished with a 9-2 run that left Ohio with a 41-38 lead.
Baskets by Chris Bryant and Willie Moore to open the second half gave MU its first lead. The teams then traded leads and were tied twice before Geovonie McKnight put the RedHawks in front for good, 50-48, with a jumper at 14:05.
Miami had four steals during an 18-3 run that culminated with two McKnight FTs at 7:33. Campbell connected on three treys as Ohio attempted to come back against a Miami team that has trouble finishing in recent weeks.
There was no such problem this time. McCormick nailed two threes and McKnight added his own to offset’s Campbell’s triple run. Miami, which had a 13-0 advantage in turnovers after intermission, managed to keep the lead in double digits the rest of the way.
"I thought in the second half we came out with great energy and great focus," McCormick said.
Miami travels to league-leader Bowling Green Wednesday (7 p.m. ET). Ohio is at Western Michigan (7 p.m. ET).