Miami wins Third Straight, Clinches MAC Tournament Place

Miami put together their best defensive effort of the season on the road, defeating Eastern Michigan 52-37 on Saturday. With the win Miami has confirmed their spot in the MAC tournament in Cleveland. 

The current three game win streak is Miami’s longest of the season, and their team defense has been the main reason why. The RedHawks have been playing some stellar defense as of late, and Saturday’s game was an indicator that it’s only getting better. Eastern Michigan could only muster 16 field goals on the day on 32% shooting, and just 15% from behind the line. The ‘Hawks combined for 13 steals against EMU, creating 16 points at the other end. Freshman Eian Elmer led Miami with four steals.  

It wasn’t Miami’s strongest offensive performance, as 52 points is their lowest offensive output of the season. Only two players got into double digits, Darweshi Hunter and Anderson Mirambeaux, who combined for 21 points on 36% shooting. The veteran duo provided an offensive spark that was otherwise missing for Miami. The next highest scorer was Bradley Dean, who was uncharacteristically cold from behind the arc, making just one shot on seven attempts. 

Jalin Billingsley did his best to keep Eastern Michigan in the game, putting up a double-double in 37 minutes on the court. His 13 point, 10 rebound performance was the highlight of a tough game for the Eagles. 

Within six minutes, the RedHawks had jumped out to a nine point lead after a three by Evan Ipsaro. Another Ipsaro bucket extended the lead to double digits before EMU could even get settled into the game. The Eagles were able to cut the lead to four just before halftime, but that would be as close as they would get. Miami would start the second half on an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 16, which they would maintain for the rest of the game. 

Miami has two MAC games remaining against two of the toughest teams in the conference. The RedHawks will host Toledo on Tuesday, hoping to avenge their narrow loss to the Rockets just after the new year. Then the Ohio Bobcats will travel to Oxford on Saturday to close out the regular season with the “Battle of the Bricks.”

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