Miami Victorious on the Road Against Ball State
By: Jack Mueller
The Miami RedHawks picked up their third conference win of the season on the road on Saturday, defeating Ball State 87-80. The RedHawks were down by 10 with five minutes left in the game, but an explosive 25-5 run over the final ten minutes tilted the tie in favor of Miami.
Five RedHawks registered double digit point totals, sharing the scoring load like they have done so well all season. Anderson Mirambeaux led the team with 16, proving once again how vital he is to the RedHawks offense. Darweshi Hunter and Ryan Mabrey both put up 15 in the victory, with Hunter hitting the crucial three to force overtime. Mekhi Cooper continues to flourish in the starting point guard role, adding 12 points, four rebounds and five assists.
Miami looked as if they were outmatched for the majority of the second half, going scoreless for over seven minutes, allowing the Cardinals to jump out to a large lead. Basheer Jihad led the charge for the home side, scoring 29 points and shooting a perfect 11-11 from the free throw line.
With five minutes left in the contest, a switch flipped, and suddenly Miami were right back in the game. Bryce Bultman put together a strong final few minutes, scoring six down the stretch to keep Miami within reach. Bultman ended with ten points and eight boards, continuing his streak of impressive games in the MAC.
Ball State had the chance to put the game out of the RedHawks reach, but Davion Bailey failed to connect on a mid ranger giving Miami the chance to force overtime. At first it looked as though the play was dead, as an errant pass rolled back to Darweshi Hunter almost at midcourt. Hunter was able to get to almost the same spot as his buzzer-beater against Vermont, and repeated history, connecting on a heavily contested three to bring Miami level.
In overtime, Miami came out firing, starting the period on an 8-0 run, jumping out to a lead that the Cardinals could never overcome. Cooper and Hunter both connected on jumpers to set the tone, then Mabrey would be sent to the line to ice the game for Miami, sinking both free throws to give the away team a three possession lead.
Miami improves to 3-3 in the conference with the win, with the opportunity to go above .500 in the MAC for the first time this season on Tuesday against Central Michigan.