The low-scoring overtime game was due to two factors: both teams shot less than 35% from the field, and both teams were absoutely dismal at the free throw line. Miami hit just 47.4% of free throws (9-of-19) while Marshall shot a comparatively blistering 62.1% (18-of-29).
"The free throw line was the biggest missed opportunity," added MU guard Ronny Dawn. "There's 11 points there we could have had, maybe more with the front ends [of one-and-ones]."
Marshall's Marvin Black looked for an escape from Miami's pressure during the second half of the 51-48 Miami overtime win.
The RedHawks' slow tempo didn't help Marshall's cause, either. In fact, the two teams combined for only 41 points at the half (a 22-19 Miami edge).
In the second half, Miami shot out to a 14 point lead (36-22) with 13:58 remaining, courtesy of Gene Seals' free throws. However, Marshall turned the game around by going on a 10-0 run sparked by Ronny Dawn's steal and breakaway layup with 8:54 remaining, cutting Miami's lead to just 36-32.
"It seemed like we got ourselves in a hole, each time," Dawn added.
A short jumper by Dawn with :36 left edged Marshall to within 42-40. And Dawn repeated the feat just second later after Miami's Gene Seals turned the ball over. Dawn's breakaway lay-in tied the game at 42-42. When Miami's Chet Mason missed a three-pointer with :02 left, the game went to overtime.
"We didn't shoot the ball very well, nor rebound very well, because they [Marshall] were always there," summed up Miami coach Charlie Coles.
In overtime, Miami shot out again to a seven point lead, 49-42, with 2:36 remaining. Marshall once again cut that lead down to one (49-48), oddly enough via the free throw line. David Anderson, Enoch Bunch, and Mark Patton each hit a pair of free throws as Marshall caught back up.
Miami's Danny Horace got a put-back with just :04 remaining to give the RedHawks the final 51-48 edge. Marshall's Enoch Bunch missed a last-second three-pointer from the top left of the circle.
Marshall's Ronny Dawn was the only MU player to score in double figures with 12 points. David Anderson and Enoch Bunch each scored 9 points, and Mark Patton hauled down a team-high 8 rebounds in the loss. Miami was led by Juby Johnson's 17 points, the only RedHawk player in double figures.
"For the most part, our team battled in that game when we were behind," summed up MU coach Jirsa. "But we had some turnovers at key times that really hurt our chances."
Marshall now stands at 7-9 overall and an even 4-4 in the MAC with the loss, while Miami improves to 10-6 overall and 6-2 in the MAC. Marshall next travels to Bowling Green this Saturday afternoon.