The Miami RedHawks (1-1) found that twice wasn’t quite as nice on Monday night. Luckily for them, it was still top-notch.
Miami beat Midway 91-42 at Millett Hall to claim its first win of the new season.
Last season, the RedHawks set a litany of offensive records, including the program’s single-game points mark, in a 123-40 victory over the Eagles (3-3).
While his team failed to eclipse any records last night, head coach Jack Owens spent the second half quietly sitting on the bench — a rarity for him. He had nothing to stress about. His team never trailed in the contest.
“I just thought the guys came out and played the way we should play,” Owens said. “We had a nasty taste in our mouths from Saturday night.”
Midway actually hung with Miami at the beginning of the first half, trailing just 14-12 after six-and-a-half minutes.
“It definitely was us getting comfortable and settling into the game,” sophomore guard Nike Sibande said.
The RedHawks did settle in and responded with a 20-2 run. It only got worse for the Eagles.
Miami took a 47-24 lead into halftime off the strong play of sophomore forward Dalonte Brown. Brown finished the first period with 12 points and four rebounds.
The second half allowed Brown and co. to showcase their athleticism, with him and sophomore guards Jalen Adaway and Sibande throwing down a number of thunderous dunks on the fast break.
“It was a lot of fun, man,” Sibande said. “I really enjoy playing with them. We’re all athletic players, so we just let it all come to us. [Senior guard Darrian] Ringo set us up for some good ones. It was just a fun night.”
Ringo scored just two points but dished out six assists with only two turnovers.
Those fast breaks were spurred by 21 Midway turnovers which the RedHawks turned into 30 points. Miami gave it away 12 times.
Shooting a hot 57.6 percent in the second, the RedHawks took a game-high 56-point advantage (87-31) on a Sibande layup with 5:45 left in the game.
Owens put in the backups shortly after, with sophomore walk-ons Michael Ritchie and Benjamin Litteken getting their first court action of the season. Each scored two points.
By the time the final buzzer mercifully sounded for Midway, Miami had racked up 91 points.
Although Midway, an NAIA Division II school, isn’t nearly as talented as Butler, the RedHawks showed improvement from Saturday when they failed to effectively rebound the ball and surrendered 90 points due to a lack of defensive discipline. They outrebounded the Eagles 44-34 last night.
Miami continued its trend of winning its home-openers. Monday’s victory pushed its all-time record to 92-22 (.805 winning percentage) in those games.
Sibande dropped over 20 points for the second consecutive game, leading all players with 21 and grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. Brown added 18 points and six rebounds.
Only one Eagle — junior guard Kaleb Britt — reached double-digit scoring figures (10). Senior forward Jose Bustamante fell one point and one rebound short of a double-double.
Miami gets a business vacation later this week as they fly to the Bahamas to play in the Islands of Bahamas Showcase. It opens the tournament with North Dakota State (1-1) at 2 p.m. Friday.