Video by Emily Brustoski
Seventh-seeded Miami basketball is moving on in the Mid-American Conference Tournament after defeating the 10th-seeded Ohio Bobcats 68-55 at Millett Hall on Monday. The win marks the first time the RedHawks have advanced to the second round since 2013.
“After [Friday’s game], I literally could not sleep at night,” junior guard Darrian Ringo said. “I felt like I could’ve done a lot more to help the seniors. I just wanted to win for them tonight and win for my coaches. So I think everybody realized that and came out and played hard. We wanted to win.”
Things looked eerily similar to Friday’s contest early on as Ohio (14-17, 7-11 MAC) started out on a 5-0 run for the second straight game.
After two scoreless minutes to open the game, Miami (16-16, 8-10) got on the scoreboard with a mid-range jumper from freshman guard Nike Sibande to make the score 5-2. Sibande’s bucket was the first of a 19-2 RedHawks’ run spearheaded by seven points from Ringo.
Following the Bobcats cutting MU’s advantage to single-digits, the Red and White went on a 11-4 run that allowed them to take a 33-18 lead into halftime.
Ringo contributed 13 points in the first and completed the game with 21 points, tying his career high.
Freshman guard Jalen Adaway made two free throws to kick off the second half and stretch Miami’s advantage to a game-high 17 points.
Ohio started chipping away at its deficit on the ensuing possession, with a layup by junior forward Doug Taylor.
Over the next seven minutes, OU was able to slice Miami’s lead to 48-42 with 11 minutes left in regulation.
“The second half, we had some breakdowns there for about three or four minutes that allowed them to get back in the game,” MU head coach Jack Owens said. “Our guys fought and were able to keep their composure.”
After three minutes of back-and-forth play, senior forward Logan McLane took over, scoring the next three RedHawk baskets, while also adding two offensive rebounds and a block. The personal run boost Miami’s lead back to double-digits at 56-44.
“[Ohio] ruined my senior night so it feels good to get it back,” McLane said. “It feels just as good for us to still be chasing our goal as a team.”
Miami’s lead only dropped to single-digits once for the rest of the game.
With the RedHawks up 58-50 with two minutes left, freshman guard Isaiah Coleman-Lands knocked down a three that halted Ohio’s comeback chances.
The two teams traded free throws for the final minute and a half, but Miami prevailed with a 68-55 win to advance to the MAC quarter-finals.
“I just think everyone contributed to the win,” Owens said.
Ringo’s 21 points were a game-high. Sibande finished with 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds. McLane posted 10 points and added a season-high four rejections.
Senior guard Mike Laster led the Bobcats with 16 points.
After dropping 21 points on Friday, OU junior guard Jordan Dartis went out late in the first half with a leg injury. He didn’t return and was held scoreless in 11 minutes played.
Before Monday’s MU win, Ohio had won the last seven meetings in the “Battle of the Bricks.”
Miami will head to Cleveland to face the second-seeded Toledo Rockets (21-10, 13-5 MAC) on Thursday. The Rockets will be well-rested after having a first-round bye. The game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quicken Loans Arena.