Texas State routs Miami of Ohio after strong first half
By Neil Meyer
Earlier today the Redhawks (0-2) welcomed in Texas State (1-1) to Millet Hall for an early morning showdown as part of the MAC vs Sun Belt showdown. Both the Redhawks and Bobcats were searching for their first victory of the 2023-2024 season. However, the Bobcats got the best of the Redhawks this afternoon after defeating the RedHawks 75-65.
The Redhawks were led by Cincinnati native Darweshi Hunter who finished with a game high 21 points and four rebounds as the senior shot 50% from the field (7-14). Travis Steele and the Redhawks also saw dominant performances from sophomore center Jaquel Morris who contributed 12 points and a team high eight rebounds on 5-6 shooting (83%) from the field.
Texas State forward Tyrel Morgan led the Bobcats with a team high 19 points and 8 rebounds, while shooting at a 73% clip (8-11). Freshman guard Kaden Gumbs also recorded his first double digit scoring performance of his young career after finishing with 14 points on 6-12 shooting.
How it Happened
The Cowboys set the tone early after jumping out to an early 8-3 lead in the opening minutes before RedHawks Jaquel Morris finished the tough three-point play to tie this game up in the opening minutes. The Bobcats then turned it up a notch following a quick six-point swing following consecutive made three pointers that gave the Bobcats some breathing room early as they lead the RedHawks 18-8.
However, the Redhawks fought through the early adversity as Travis Steele and the Redhawks started to find their stride offensively as they tied the game at 20 late in the first half following a huge 12-2 stand. The Redhawks would keep the intensity going as they looked to fight off the Bobcats early momentum and flip the script heading into the half.
Despite the early shooting struggles for the Redhawks, they would come within striking range after junior point guard Bradley Dean responded with a personal five point run that would trim the Cowboys lead to 1, as Miami trailed 30-29 with just over two minutes remaining in the first half. The Bobcats would flip the momentum heading into the break after Elijah Tate finished the half with five of the Bobcats last 10 points points giving the Bobcats a 40-31 lead at the half.
Despite two quick threes from Darweshi Hunter and Mekhi Cooper on the Redhawks opening two possessions, however that was all the Redhawks could get going in the opening minutes of the second half.
The Bobcats would continue to use their size and length to their advantage this afternoon as they continued to beat the Redhawks on the glass. You could desperately see how much Travis Steele and the Redhawks missed Anderson Mirambeaux in the front court, and it showed early this afternoon.
The Bobcats would keep their foot on the gas as they extended their lead to eight at the under 16 media timeouts. However, could the Redhawks fight back and cut the Bobcats lead like they did in the first half?
Not quite as the Bobcats would see their lead cut to five as freshman point guard Eian Elmer would come off the bench and try to provide that spark the Redhawks needed on the offensive end but was ultimately held to just two points.
However, the difference maker in this contest was simply the battle of the glass, as it is clear that Travis Steele and the Redhawks currently lack size following Morgan Safford transfer to Kent State, and Mirambeaux currently unavailable the RedHawks. However, the Redhawks would be outrebounded 44-26 on the day following their 75-65 loss to Texas State.
However, Travis Steele did mention in his postgame press conference he expects Mirambeaux to be available for the RedHawks sometime in the month of December, just in time for MAC Conference play.
Up Next for the RedHawks
The RedHawks will return to action this Friday night at 7pm as they welcome in Coppin State to Millet Hall as part of the Miami Classic.