Hunter's Buzzer-Beater Leads Miami to Upset Over Vermont
By: Jack Mueller
Darweshi Hunter and the Miami RedHawks snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against the Vermont Catamounts on Friday, coming away with a 70-69 victory after Hunter hit a deep three at the buzzer.
Down eight with just over a minute to go, it was hard to imagine Miami getting back into the game against the 9-4 Catamounts. Both Anderson Mirambeaux and Ryan Mabrey got to the free throw line to chip away at the lead, cutting it down to five, but it was Evan Ipsaro who stepped up with a huge steal with twenty seconds left to keep Miami alive. Ipsaro then found Hunter in the corner for three to cut Vermont’s lead to two, then nailed a step back triple to bring Miami within a single point.
Vermont’s TJ Long had the chance to re-establish a three point lead from the charity stripe in the final five seconds, but failed to connect. Anderson Mirambeaux was able to secure the rebound and found Hunter on the outlet. Hunter took three dribbles, pulled up from just over half-court with a prayer, which banked in as time expired as the RedHawks bench poured onto the court.
Miami played far from a perfect game, as their usually stellar three point shooting went cold at times (35% on 28 shots), they failed to connect on some easy looks at the rim, and they gave away far too many fouls, racking up 21 in total. However they were excellent at protecting the basketball, giving away possession half as many times as the Catamounts, and made some incredible plays in the clutch to secure the victory.
On the other end of the floor, Miami’s team defense showed major improvement from the team that allowed 92 to Wright State on tuesday. Vermont had come into the game after blowing out Toledo by 26, putting up 86 points away from home, so keeping their offense at bay was no easy feat. Mirambeaux and Morris were forces in the paint, and Bradley Dean and Ryan Mabrey were excellent on the perimeter, taking away two steals each.
Anderson Mirambeaux cemented his return to the RedHawks rotation with an impressive scoring night. Often acting as the first option, the senior big man put up 17 points on 6-9 shooting, and could have had more if he was able to connect on a couple good looks in the paint in the second half. Mirambeaux was a force to be reckoned with on both ends, as his physicality added a new dimension to the Miami offense.
The hero of the day, Darweshi Hunter, continued his impressive scoring stretch to start the season, recovering from a slow first half to co-lead the team in scoring at 17, including the two crucial triples in the final minute to save the day. Hunter leads the team in scoring so far, averaging 13.5 points per outing with a 41/38/76% shooting split.
The other man to hit a clutch three down the stretch, Evan Ipsaro, continued to establish himself as a key contributor for the RedHawks. The freshman guard netted 13 points, to go along with four boards, two huge assists and a clutch steal in the final minute to prevent Vermont from extending their lead.
Miami snaps a three game losing streak with the win, picking up arguably their most impressive non-conference win since taking down Georgia Tech in 2021. The RedHawks now have some momentum to build off of going into the holiday season, and will be back on the floor at Millett Hall on December 29th to face Wilberforce as their last non-conference game before MAC play starts in January.