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Crawford leads men’s basketball in Miami RedHawks defeat

The Falcons kept their Mid-American Conference Tournament fate in their own hands with a 52-54 win against the Miami University RedHawks at home Wednesday night.

BG guard Jordon Crawford led the Falcons with 19 points and Miami guard Allen Roberts led the RedHawks with 16 points. Crawford and Roberts were the only two players to score over 10 points in the game.

“[Crawford]’s played well against Miami offensively just about every time we play them,” coach Louis Orr said. “The way our offense was tonight we needed all his points.”

Crawford’s 19 points marked the 23rd time that he has scored more than 10 points in a game.

“I came into the game just wanting to win,” Crawford said. “If I’ve got to make shots, then that’s what I have to do.”

On BG’s first possession, Crawford was fouled by Miami guard Allen Roberts, but was only able to capitalize on one free throw.

After a Miami layup and a missed free throw from Roberts, Crawford hit a three-pointer that put BG ahead 4-2. At the 15:26 mark, Crawford, by himself, outscored Miami 6-4, but the RedHawks would silence the Falcons for the next three and a half minutes.

The RedHawks went on a five-point run following Crawford’s two-point shot, which allowed Miami to eliminate its deficit and take the lead nearly half way through the first half.

On the next possession, BG did not make any of the three shots it took and Miami went on a six-point run to put them ahead by five.

With less than 10 minutes left in the half, BG forward Craig Sealey was fouled on a made basket, converting his three-point play to cut the RedHawks’ lead to two.

BG guard Jehvon Clarke hit a three-pointer to take a 16-15 lead with 8:16 remaining in the half. This ended a two and a half minute scoring drought for both teams.

Within the next minute, Miami center Vince Legarza was fouled and made both of his free throws that gave Miami a 17-16 lead at the 7:46 mark. Then, Miami forward Will Felder made a layup to push Miami’s lead to 19-16 with just under seven minutes left in the half.

Miami started a 10-point run with just under eight minutes remaining but the run was disrupted at 4:11 by a two-point jumper from BG forward A’uston Calhoun, which marked BG’s first points in nearly four minutes.

Roberts answered Calhoun’s basket with a two-point play of his own with 4:03 left in the half.

BG would finish the rest of the half with six more points as Miami guard Quinten Rollins recorded his team’s final four points, including a two-point jumper at the buzzer.

The score at the half had Miami leading 31-24 but the second half would present a different side of the Falcons that Miami did not see in the first half.

Both teams started the second half with absent offenses, as Crawford’s three-point basket marked either team’s first of the half after over two minutes of play.

BG held Miami scoreless for the first five and a half minutes of the second half.

Legarza scored the RedHawks’ first points in the second half after allowing BG to tie the game up at 31 a minute and a half before.

BG center Cameron Black had a burst of big plays during the first five minutes of the second half, including a pair of two-point baskets and a huge blocked shot, in which he swatted Miami guard Josh Sewell’s shot back to nearly the half court line.

The Falcons and RedHawks then went back and forth, as BG guard Jehvon Clarke made a layup with 6:31 minutes left in the game to put the Falcons ahead by two points, a lead they would retain the rest of the night.

Miami surged to bring the game to come one point after Felder made a huge dunk with 3:14 left, but the Falcons would hold the RedHawks to zero points for the rest of the contest.

“You just have to be able to grind,” Orr said. “You got to grind for 40 minutes and this was a grind win.”

With the win, BG boosts its record to 12-16 (6-7) and Miami’s record falls to 8-18 (3-10).

BG now sits at fourth in the MAC East behind Akron, Ohio and Kent State.

The Falcons’ next match will be against the Ohio University Bobcats this Saturday at the Stroh Center. Broadcast live on SportsTime Ohio, the game is scheduled to tip-off at noon.

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