Jan. 7, 2006
OXFORD, Ohio--Senior center Nate VanderSluis drilled the go-ahead 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 2:47 mark in overtime to spur the Miami University men's basketball team to a thrilling 64-59 win against Eastern Michigan at Millett Hall on Saturday evening.
Miami extended its record to 6-5 overall and 3-0 in Mid-American Conference play, while Eastern Michigan dropped to 3-7 overall and 0-2 in MAC action.
Behind 12 points from Danny McElhinny, including three straight 3-pointers, the Eagles built a 19-6 lead by the 9:51 mark of the first half. A layup and ensuing free throw by John Bowler gave EMU a 12-point lead with 7:24 remaining, 22-10. The RedHawks chipped away at the Eagle lead with a 9-2 run to pull with in five of EMU at the 2:52 mark, 24-19, off a Nathan Peavy 3-point play. Peavy started the run with a layup at the 5:50 mark, while Chad Troyer added a trey with 4:38 remaining. Bowler rounded out the first half scoring with a jumper and a pair of free throws to give the Eagles the 28-19 lead at the half.
Miami put together an 11-4 run over the first four minutes of the second half to shrink the gap to two points by the 15:54 mark, 32-30. VanderSluis had a layup and a jumper during the run, while Peavy had another 3-point play and William Hatcher and Tim Pollitz each tossed in layups. A Hatcher trey with 13:45 left further closed the gap to one, 36-35, and back-to-back Pollitz buckets handed Miami its first lead of the game, 39-38, with 12:26 remaining. The teams went back and forth over the final minutes of regulation. Carlos Medlock hit a jumper with 2:35 remaining to give the Eagles a 50-48 edge, but VanderSluis was fouled with 2:10 remaining and nailed both free-throw attempts to knot the game 50-50, which would be the score heading into overtime.
Pollitz hit one of his two free throw attempts at the 3:34 mark of overtime to put the RedHawks up 51-50. A Bowler jumper at 3:07 gave the Eagles a 52-51 advantage, but VanderSluis drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key to hand Miami the lead for good with 2:47 left in overtime, 54-52. VanderSluis also drilled a jumper just inside the arc with 31 seconds remaining in overtime to give the RedHawks a 60-56 lead. Hatcher and Peavy knocked down two free throws apiece over the final seconds en route to the 64-59 overtime win.
Hatcher led the RedHawks with 18 points, and VanderSluis' 17 points were a career high. VanderSluis was an impressive 6-of-8 from the field. Peavy and Pollitz chipped in 12 points apiece in the winning effort.
Bowler led all players with a career-high 31 points and added 10 boards for the Eagles. McElhinny added 12 points.
Miami continues a short two-game home stretch, hosting Central Michigan at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
NOTES: The win marked Miami's 10th straight win in the all-time series with the Eagles ... for the second time in as many games, Miami had to overcome a 13-point deficit to pull out the win ... this is the first time Miami has started MAC play 3-0 since the 1998-99 squad won its first seven MAC games.