Men’s basketball looks to rebound in Oxford

Sports Editor and Sports Editor

Coming off back-to-back tough losses in Mid-American Conference play, the BG men’s basketball team will try to rebound Wednesday night against Miami in Oxford, Ohio.

After a strong victory in their conference-opening game against Ohio, the Falcons dropped games to Akron and Kent State to fall to 1-2 in the MAC.

While the RedHawks are also 1-2 in conference play, they have struggled overall this season, sitting on a 5-10 record.

Despite that, Miami has one of the top players in the conference in forward Julian Mavunga, who enters the game averaging 18.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.

“He’s probably one of the toughest, if not the toughest guy in the league to defend because of his versatility,” coach Louis Orr said. “He plays out on the perimeter, he’s a very good, willing passer, and in the post, he’s a tough cover down there. He’s constantly in attack mode, constantly involved in the game.”

One of the key players who could be potentially used to cover Mavunga, center Cam Black, will be a game-time decision after leaving the Kent State game with a lower leg injury.

Regardless if Black plays or not, Orr said multiple players could be used to cover Mavunga.

“We have to crowd him, make him try to be uncomfortable as best you can,” he said. “It’s not easy because he’s a guy who will pass the ball and make other guys better, but in a man-to-man we have two or three guys who will guard him.”

Even though the team fell to Kent State this past weekend, the Falcons played a strong offensive game, scoring a season-high tying 87 points. Several Falcons posted strong numbers, particularly in the second half, which could help the Falcons get into a groove as they head into the meat of their conference schedule.

Scott Thomas had 23 points, bringing his season average up to a team-high 12.4 points per game. He has also proven to be efficient on the glass and as a distributor, averaging 6.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

Last season against the RedHawks, Thomas averaged 12 points per game in two contests.

Another player who had strong performances against Miami last season was guard Jordon Crawford, who is coming off one of his strongest performances of the season – a 10-point, 13-assist effort against Kent State.

In two games against the RedHawks last season, Crawford averaged 9.5 points and 8.5 assists per game.

The game will begin at 7 p.m. at Miami’s Millett Hall.