The RedHawks (3-3) trailed by four at intermission and slipped to a nine-point deficit after the Lethernecks (2-5) drained four of their nine treys for the game during the early stages of the second half.
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Western Illinois held a 56-46 advantage at 12:37. Milos Jovich then knocked down a trey to start Miami’s big run. Logan McLane’s and-one at 9:54 gave MU its second lead since the 16:38 mark of the first half.
Garret Covington hit a jumper to . . .
After MU’s big run, the Leathernecks managed to pull within five several times in the final two minutes, but Miami put the game away at the line.
WIU senior guard Garret Covington led all scorers with 29 points. Ten of those came at the line. He was 8 of 21 from the field, including 3 of 12 from beyond the arc.
C.J. Duff netted 12 points – all coming on threes (4 of 8), and Mike Miklusak provided 14 points in his first action of the season.
“Of all his games, this is probably the game (in which) he struggled the most,” Miami head coach John Cooper said.
Jake Wright, a redshirt sophomore transfer from The Citadel, reached double figures for the sixth time in as many games, contributing 15 points. Meanwhile, Logan McLane produced a career-high 17 points, along with nine rebounds, in 27 minutes of action.
“The coaches challenged me,” said McLane. “They just kept pushing me every day at practice to bring it out of me, and it came out. It showed – finally.”
“I thought Logan, of course, was very good,” Cooper said. “He brought energy, rebounded the ball, (and) scored the ball. That’s the Logan we want to see every day. It’s not (just) about the points. It’s about the energy. It’s about being involved.”
Miami had a narrow 36-34 edge in rebounds and committed 11 turnovers to 14 for WIU.
The RedHawks struggled from the field early, hitting only 33.3 percent in the first half. However, they hit 61.9 percent after intermission, finishing with 24 of 54 (44.5 percent).
“There was a point where we were searching – trying to get a group that could give us some energy and figure out a way to make some shots,” Cooper said. Eventually, “We were able to do some things … make some shots and get some stops.”
Both teams had nine treys, although MU was 9 of 18 from beyond the arc, while WIU hit 9 of 26.
Miami returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Grambling State (7 p.m. ET). It’s the sixth home game in seven November outings for MU, although three came as part of a tournament.