Miami men’s basketball defeated the Western Illinois Leathernecks in a double-overtime thriller by the score of 76-73 on Saturday night.
The RedHawk offense was led by senior forward Logan McLane who tallied 17 points with nine rebounds and freshman Nike Sibande who added 16 points with five rebounds. This victory pushed the ’Hawks’ record to 5-3 and dropped WIU to 5-2.
The ’Hawks opened the contest shooting 51.7 percent from the field. An emphatic dunk from Sibande with 4:43 left in the first half extended the Hawks’ lead to seven at 30-23. However, the RedHawks’ shooting would go cold for the remainder of the period, before McLane sank a mid-range jumper which led to a 35-31 point lead heading into the locker room.
In the second half, both teams struggled to gain their offensive footing. The ’Hawks gradually increased their lead to 10 at 51-41 at the 10:01 mark. WIU then went on a 13-2 run that gave them its first lead since 6:19 of the first half.
With 56 seconds left in the game, sharpshooter, junior guard Jake Wright sank a free throw to tie the score at 54-54. True to the back-and-forth nature of the game, Western Illinois’ freshman guard Kobe Webster sank a three with 29 seconds left to give the Leathernecks a 57-54 lead.
The ’Hawks showed their resiliency and Sibande hit a critical three to tie the score at 57 — good to send the game to overtime.
The extra frame brought a resurgence in the RedHawks’ offense led by senior forward Rod Mills Jr. Mills hit a jumper with 2:29 left to square the game at 63. WIU took a lead in the final minutes, but freshman guard Jalen Adaway was able to sink two free throws to send the nail-bitter to a second overtime.
In double-overtime, both teams kept pace with each other until 1:20 left when Darrian Ringo made a layup. The junior guard put the ’Hawks ahead by three.
Up 73-70 in the final moments of the contest, WIU senior guard Dalan Ancrum hit a deep three to tie, eliciting roars from the home crowd. Undeterred and with six seconds left, freshman forward Dalonte Brown inbounded to Ringo who marched down the court and drained a three to cement a ’Hawks victory.
Miami next takes on Mizzou on Tuesday at 9 p.m. in the final game of the RedHawks’ road trip. The game will air on the SEC Network.