Miami Falls on the Road to WMU

By: Jack Mueller 

The Miami RedHawks dropped their seventh conference game on the road on Tuesday night, leaving Kalamazoo with a 77-58 defeat to Western Michigan. 

Coming off a resounding twenty-point victory at the weekend, there was hope that the team could use that game as a starting point for a late season run. However this defeat stopped any sort of momentum before it could even take off. 

Miami was dominated in nearly every aspect of the game, losing both the rebound and turnover battles. Miami’s 58 points is their third lowest output of the season. The RedHawks have been held to less than 60 points in three of their last four games. 

Western Michigan’s balanced offensive attack was too much to handle for the RedHawks. Four Broncos ended the game in double digits, with sophomore guard Seth Hubbard leading the way with 19. 

Hubbard was seemingly everywhere, connecting from both inside and outside the three point arc, and also registering a steal and a block. Artis B. White and Owen Lobsinger were solid complimentary scoring options, combining for 26 points on 56% shooting. 

Miami’s offense, which had been so potent on Saturday against Ball State, went dormant. The RedHawks had their second-worst shooting night on the season, making only 33% of their shots from the field. The ‘Hawks were no better from behind the arc, managing a three point percentage of 26%. 

Anderson Mirambeaux was a bright spot in an otherwise subpar offensive performance. The senior center matched Hubbard’s production with 19 points of his own. Head Coach Travis Steele said on Saturday that they needed Mirambeaux to play like an all-conference player, and he did so offensively against the Broncos. 

Despite Mirambeaux’s efforts, no other RedHawk managed to reach double digits. Darweshi Hunter, the team’s second leading scorer, managed just eight points on 30% from the field. Evan Ipsaro put up his highest points total in nearly a month, also adding eight. 

Miami went into the halftime break down just five, as an 8-0 run in the final four minutes brought the RedHawks within reach. Bryce Bultman sent the ‘Hawks into the break with momentum, as he connected from behind the arc at the buzzer. However the Broncos came into the second half with a vengeance, and immediately went on a 11-0 run to open up a double digit lead that Miami would never overcome. 

The RedHawks will need to recover and make adjustments fast, as Saturday's game is now crucial for their MAC tournament hopes. Miami will face Central Michigan, who are currently 3rd in the conference with a 10-3 record. The Chippewas come to Oxford on a three game win streak, and will hope to extend it to go within reach of Akron and Toledo at the summit of the standings. Miami currently sit 7th in the MAC and face dropping out of the tournament spots with a loss. 

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