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Ohio forward Ivo Baltic attempts a layup over a Miami defender Friday at Millett Hall. Ohio lost, 76-66. Their next game is Tuesday against Toledo in their first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. (Alex Goodlett | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Men's Basketball: Miami finishes sweep of the bricks

Ohio has learned all season that the team can’t thrive solely on its offense. Against Miami, the RedHawk post players enforced the hard lesson on Ivo Baltic and DeVaughn Washington.

Miami forwards Nick Winbush and Julian Mavunga scored a combined 37 points against Ohio’s pair of post players in the Bobcats’ 76-66 loss to the RedHawks Friday night. Baltic and Washington were the main source of Ohio’s offense with 30 combined points, but they couldn’t stop Miami on the other end of the floor.

“(Winbush) carried us in the first half, credit to him” Mavunga said. “When he went down with foul trouble in the second half, I had to pick it up.”

In the first half, Winbush gave Baltic trouble with shots from myriad places.

Whether it was making his way to the basket for easy layups or knocking down two 3-pointers, Winbush dominated the first half matchup, despite Baltic’s 12 points.

“I wanted to pick it up defensively,” Baltic said. “… That was a disappointment. He hit some tough shots.

Almost non-existent in the first half, Mavunga found room against Ohio’s post players in the second half. He constantly drove to the basket and drew fouls almost every time. Mavunga finished the game with only four field goals, but finished 15-of-17 from the free throw line for 23 points.

“We just kept fouling him,” Groce said. “We’ve got to find a way to play aggressively without doing that.”


Judging from D.J. Cooper’s frustrated facial expressions during the game and Mavunga’s smile after it, the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year competition might have been decided Friday night.

Coming into the contest, both Cooper and Mavunga were considered candidates for the conference’s player of the year award. Cooper shot 4-of-13 and struggled against Miami’s defense, while Mavunga constantly made his way to the rim en route to 23 points.

“He should be player of the year,” Miami coach Charlie Coles said about Mavunga. “It’s as simple as that.”

Cooper averaged 15.1 points per game to go along with 7.4 assists in MAC games. Mavunga ended his season with 16.5 points a game to go with 9.5 rebounds.

The winner of the award will be announced this week.


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