MIAMI — A 12-3 run down the stretch helped Tulsa Rogers cart off a 62-58 win Tuesday night, spoiling the Miami boys’ home opener.
The Wardogs (1-4) had led 42-41 heading into the final stanza and used buckets from Kameron Jinks and Eli Coyne to open up a 46-41 advantage with 7:16 remaining.
But a conventional three-point play by Dovell Battle kicked off the Ropers’ game turning rally.
Demaree King’s jumper from the free throw line gave Rogers just its second lead of the night, 50-40, and they would never trail again.
“We lost containment and got deep, then it's tough,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “This is something we’ve had problems with. For the most part, our defense has been pretty good and we kept people out of the lane and we’ve rebounded really well. When we haven’t, that’s when we’ve given up penetration. Bodies are too close in proximity; we’re helping off and can’t recover. Against someone like that, we’re just not going to get enough loose balls that are in the air.
“But our guys fought, fought, fought.”
The Ropers converted on 7 of 8 free throw chances over the final two minutes to hold off MHS.
“We put the wrong guy on the line,” Mercer said. “For the most part it was 1 (King), but 4 (Keishun Johnson) hit two.”
The loss was the second straight nail-biting loss for the Wardogs, who dropped a 56-52-overtime decision to Diamond, Missouri, on the final day of the Seneca Tournament.
“We just have to figure out how to get over the hump,” Mercer said.
Senior Kameron Jinks had a career-best 33 points for the Wardogs. He got 18 of that in the first half, and then picked up another eight in the third and seven in the fourth.
Coyne, who finished with 12, joined him in double figures.
Thanks to Jinks’ big night the Wardogs were 23 of 33 from inside the arc.
The killer was the fact that they converted on only three of nine free throw chances while turning the ball over 21 times.
By comparison, the Ropers were 10 of 14 on free throws and had only nine turnovers.
Miami held a 28-23 edge in rebounds, but the Tulsans had 12 offensive rebounds – 10 in the crucial second half.
“That’s been our MO: when we take care of the ball, we are getting quality shots and our shooting percentages have been good, in fact, surprisingly good,” Mercer said. “We’re cancelling that out with our turnovers.”
Miami also picked up five points from Jack Osborn, four from Kai Hamilton and two each from Conner Womack and Eli Chenoweth.
King finished with 27 points for the Ropers, who also got 16 from Battle.
The Dogs wrap up the 2016 half of the schedule Friday night, traveling to Inola.