The men’s basketball RedHawks spent the weekend in the Bahamas but weren’t relaxing on the beach.
Instead, Miami faced three challenging teams and dropped two of its three games in the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase to fall to 2-3 this season.
All three of the RedHawks’ opponents — North Dakota State, Montana and Pepperdine — scored 73 or more points. In 34 games last season, Miami allowed that many points just 13 times.
The tournament started out well for the ’Hawks, as they beat North Dakota State 89-78 on Friday to claim their only win of the weekend.
After a back-and-forth first half that saw the Bison take a 42-40 lead into halftime, the RedHawks exploded in the second.
North Dakota State kept it close for the first few minutes of the half, maintaining a 53-52 advantage five minutes in, but that would be its last lead.
Three three-pointers and an and-one layup put Miami ahead 66-54 halfway through the period.
A midrange jumper by sophomore guard Nike Sibande padded his team’s lead to a game-high 14 with seven and a half minutes remaining in the contest.
While the Bison clawed back to a six-point deficit with a 13-3 run that lasted several minutes, Miami held on and polished off a 89-78 with late free throws that ended North Dakota State’s chances.
Overall, the RedHawks shot 58 percent from the field and 44 percent from three.
They were led by sophomore forward Dalonte Brown, who set a new career-high with 25 points. He also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds, falling one board short of a double-double. Sibande added 19 points, while senior guard Darrian Ringo dished out seven assists.
North Dakota State employed a balanced offensive attack with four double-digit scorers and another falling one point shy. Junior guard Vinnie Shahid led the way with 15 points.
The next two games were both heartbreaking losses for Miami fans.
On Saturday, the RedHawks held a 69-68 lead over the Montana Grizzlies — a 2018 NCAA Tournament team — with under two minutes to play.
The score stood still until Montana sophomore guard Ahmaad Rorie drilled a three to put his team ahead 71-69 with 13 seconds remaining.
The game was far from over.
Ringo dribbled the length of the court and converted a layup to knot the game at 71.
Six seconds left.
Freshman guard Sayeed Pridgett attempted to copy Ringo’s strategy but was fouled on the play.
One second left.
Pridgett went to the free-throw line with the game hanging in the balance and knocked down both free throws, allowing the Grizzlies to escape with a 73-71 victory.
Montana outshot the RedHawks 50 percent to 39.6 percent from the field.
Sibande’s 15 points paced Miami in scoring, while Brown corralled a team-high six rebounds.
Montana redshirt junior guard Kendal Manuel had a game-high 16 points.
Sunday afternoon’s third-place contest brought the same set of circumstances.
The RedHawks and the Pepperdine Waves battled for the game’s first 37 minutes before a free throw by redshirt sophomore guard Milos Jovic put Miami ahead with two and a half minutes left.
The Waves made two free throws on their next possession to retake the lead 78-77.
With two minutes left, the RedHawks responded.
Freshman guard Mekhi Lairy drained a three, giving Miami another advantage and continuing the trend of lead changes.
But unlike the RedHawks’ matchup against Montana on Saturday, this game didn’t come down to the final second. Pepperdine ended the contest on an 8-0 run to win 86-80.
Miami outrebounded the Waves 40-33 but lost the turnover margin 14-9.
The bright spots of Miami’s weekend, Sibande and Brown scored 17 and 16, respectively, and grabbed seven rebounds each.
Pepperdine sophomore guard Colbey Ross tallied a game-high 25 points and tied Ringo with a game-high five assists.
The RedHawks will look to rebound from their back-to-back losses when they host Army at Millett Hall on Saturday. The game will tip off at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.
*Due to travel, the team could not be reached for comment.