• By Dylan Brown Midway University Sports Information Director

Miller’s go-ahead three lifts Eagles to home opener win

DONNIE MILLER, a sophomore from Newport, Ky., scored a game-high 27 points and the go-ahead three to help lift the Eagles to an 80-77 win over Oakland City University in Midway University’s home opener Saturday, Jan 9. (Photo by Mark Mahan)

After seeing their home games canceled in the first semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Midway men’s basketball team finally got to play their home opener on Saturday when they hosted Oakland City (Ind.) in Marshall Gymnasium. Trailing by two with under 30 seconds remaining, the Eagles ran an out of bounds play and did so to perfection. Kwon Evans (Louisville) found Donnie Miller (Newport) in the corner, who found the bottom of the net, giving his team a 78-77 lead with 24 seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, the Eagles buckled down on the defensive end, getting the biggest stop of the game as Cory Gardner (Owensboro) would hit two key free throws with .4 seconds remaining to seal the 80-77 victory. Miller’s go ahead was the final lead change of a back-and-forth second half that saw seven ties and nine lead changes. In fact, Midway’s first lead of the contest wouldn’t come until the 17:15 mark of the second half. The Eagles – who carded their first win of the season with Saturday’s victory and improved to 1-4 on the season – trailed the entire first half, as Oakland City led by as many as seven before taking a 42-39 lead into the locker room. Miller would briefly give Midway their first lead of the contest early in the second half only to see the Mighty Oaks respond with a 7-0 run pushing their lead back to six. A couple of minutes later, the Eagles went on a 6-0 run sparked by back-to-back buckets from Recardo Travis (Louisville). With just over three minutes remaining in regulation, the Eagles found themselves searching for a spark on offense, as they trailed 73-69. Rico Tate (Memphis, Tenn.) would help provide a spark with a transition layup before Evans found Gardner for a mid-range jumper. Miller then capped the run with a mid-range jumper of his own giving his team a brief 75-73 lead. Oakland City – which fell to 3-9 overall with the loss – regained a two-point edge following a 4-0 run setting up the late game heroics from Miller. Miller’s go-ahead three capped off a 27-point performance for the sophomore. Evans, meanwhile, turned in one of his best performances of the season with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four blocks and four steals. Travis chipped in 11 points, while Tate and Gardner added eight points each. Both teams finished the contest shooting 45.3 percent from the floor. Oakland City was 7 of 13 on threes, whereas Midway hit just 4 of 21 from downtown. However, Midway forced Oakland City into 22 turnovers that led to 22 points.

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