Toledo Recap: Miami Remains Winless in MAC Play
By: Jack Mueller
The Miami RedHawks could not hold onto a double digit lead against the Toledo Rockets, losing 68-64 after a second half comeback by the home side. The RedHawks now find themselves winless in the MAC after consecutive losses against conference opponents.
Toledo entered the second half down 14, but were able to cut that lead down to four after just seven minutes. Propelled by a 15-3 run midway through the second period, the Rockets were back in the game in no time. Dante Maddox Jr. connected on a long three pointer to give the Rockets a two point lead with three minutes to go, and were able to hold on to their lead until the clock hit zero.
Maddox Jr. was stellar, putting up 13 points on 50% shooting, but it was Ra’Heim Moss who grabbed the headlines. The junior guard led the scoring for the home team with 18 points, and also added six rebounds and four steals. Moss was able to take advantage of a RedHawk offense that seemed disconnected at times without freshman point guard Evan Ipsaro.
Ipsaro was not the only player missing for Miami, as Bradley Dean also did not feature on friday night. Ipsaro and Dean were both battling injuries according to Coach Travis Steele after the Western Michigan game, and would have provided a major boost in the backcourt. Big men Jaquel Morris and Jackson Kotecki were also not 100%, and saw their minutes limited against Toledo (6 minutes for Morris, 2 minutes for Kotecki).
Darweshi Hunter led the scoring for a short-handed RedHawks team, putting up 18 on 58% shooting from the field. The veteran forward also connected on four shots from behind the arc, bringing his season three point percentage to 38%. Hunter’s consistent scoring has been crucial for Miami, as a true second scoring option has yet to reveal themselves so far.
Freshman center Reece Potter had his best game in a Miami jersey against Toledo, registering 12 points from the starting lineup, also adding four rebounds. Potter continues to assert himself as a key member of the RedHawk rotation, providing a paint presence and ability to stretch the floor that had given the offense a different dimension at times.
Two of the returning contributors from last year's squad added a scoring threat for the RedHawks as well. Anderson Mirambeaux and Ryan Mabrey combined for 22 points off the bench on 38% shooting. Mabrey has established himself as a true long range threat this season, putting up four more threes against Toledo. Mirambeaux struggled slightly towards the end of the game, failing to connect on a layup look at the rim and on two free throws that would have gotten Miami within reach. However his veteran presence and ability to get to the bucket will be key going forward.
Miami will have the weekend to rebound and regroup before traveling to New York to take on Buffalo. The Bulls will host the RedHawks on Tuesday, January 9th at 7 pm. Travis Steele’s side will hope to improve on last years trip to Buffalo, where they fell 68-63 in their last game of the regular season.