Miami prepares for MAC Tournament after home loss to Ohio

By: Jack Mueller 

A second half offensive explosion was the difference between Ohio and Miami on Saturday, as the Bobcats were victorious at Millett Hall by a score of 72-59. 

Shereef Mitchelll and Aidan Hadaway were the difference makers for the Bobcats. The pair combined for 40 points and 14 rebounds. Hadaway was especially proficient from behind the arc, hitting four threes to give the Bobcats’ offense a different dimension. 

For the second consecutive game, the RedHawks struggled on the offensive side of the ball. Anderson Mirambeaux led the team with 13 points in his final regular season contest as a RedHawk. The freshman duo of Eian Elmer and Mekhi Cooper combined for 23 points on 53% shooting, providing a spark for Miami, but received little help outside of Mirambeaux and Bryce Bultman, who added 11 of his own. 

Miami jumped out to an early seven point lead after a Darweshi Hunter mid range found the basket after seven minutes. A three pointer by Eian Elmer gave the RedHawks a 12-point advantage with five minutes left in the half, and it looked like the issues that plagued the team on Tuesday were a thing of the past. However, Ohio rallied, and cut the deficit to just one before the break. Mitchell and Hadaway were the catalysts for the turnaround, combining for ten points down the stretch. 

Just two minutes into the second half, a Hadaway three would give Ohio the lead. The Bobcats offense was rampant in the second half, going on a 14-0 run in just four minutes to give Ohio all of the momentum. By the under-eight-minute media timeout, Miami was down 16 points, and put up little resistance to try and get back in the game. Threes by Hunter and Elmer were signs of life by Miami, but they were not enough to shrink the deficit. 

Miami ends the regular season with a record of 15-16, their most wins since 2019. Their 9-9 record in the MAC is their best record since 2021, a season which saw them fall to Buffalo in the first round of the conference tournament. The RedHawks will have the chance to avenge that loss on March 16th in Cleveland. 

Miami will enter the conference tournament as the seventh seed, and will face the 21-10 Akron Zips. The Zips will come into the game on a two game losing streak of their own, falling to both Eastern and Western Michigan to allow Toledo to take the regular season championship. 

The RedHawks won the first meeting between the two teams this season 70-68. Darweshi Hunter was the hero in that contest, connecting on a jumper as time expired to give Miami the win. Miami will be looking for a repeat performance as they hope to win their first tournament game since the COVID-shortened 2020 season. 

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