Emily Brustoski, Video Editor
Miami’s Saturday matchup with Wilberforce could’ve passed as the official highlight tape for two RedHawk guards.
Senior Darrian Ringo zipped behind-the-back passes and threw sky-high alley-oops, which were often slammed down by sophomore Jalen Adaway. The duo connected for four Adaway dunks and one alley-oop layup to lead Miami to a 88-57 rout of the Bulldogs at Millett Hall.
“We were really clicking with each other,” Adaway said. “In practice, he’s always trying to find me for some type of layup, dunk, or something, so it translated into today’s offense.”
Adaway finished with a game-high 18 points in just 21 minutes, while Ringo stuffed the statsheet with 12 assists, six steals and four rebounds.
After a 82-55 loss at Xavier on Wednesday, head coach Jack Owens told his players they needed to “play the right way.” He felt they did that on Saturday.
“I thought once we got settled in, we were able to play the way we wanted to and open the game up,” Owens said.
Wilberforce stunned the RedHawks in the first few minutes after tipoff, leading for five of the contest’s first nine minutes.
Then, Miami woke up.
A 3-pointer by sophomore guard Nike Sibande put the RedHawks ahead 20-19. They never trailed again.
Left out of the starting lineup for an unknown violation of a team rules, Sibande came off the bench and sparked a 14-0 run. He scored 16 points, 11 of which came in the first half.
“Just a team rule,” Owens said about Sibande’s violation. “No big deal. We move on, and he’ll be fine.”
After taking the lead, Miami ended the first with a 21-4 stretch that moved the score to 41-23.
“We came out well in the first half and really established the half-court offense,” Wilberforce head coach Kevin Waters said. “Miami made the proper adjustments and took the lead into halftime and held it from there […] I think they really have a great team.”
The second half brought much of the same, as the RedHawks opened the half with a 19-3 run that featured eight Adaway points.
From there, Adaway and co. pressed the cruise control button, coasting to a 88-57 victory.
Miami shot 50 percent from the field compared to the Bulldogs’ 33 percent clip. It also held a 48-30 rebounding advantage.
Adaway was joined by three other RedHawks with double-digit point totals. Sibande scored 16, sophomore forward Dalonte Brown had 14 and redshirt sophomore forward Precious Ayah finished with a career-high 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
Redshirt senior forward Aleks Abrams corralled a game-high 14 boards in under 18 minutes of play.
Junior guard Tyler Wilson-Hopkins paced the Bulldogs in scoring with 13 points. He made four of his six 3-point attempts and grabbed three rebounds.
Wilberforce is the second National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II school Miami has faced this season. It’s also played two high-profile Big East teams (Butler and Xavier).
“As a player, it’s a little different playing some dudes from the Big East to playing a D-II NAIA school,” Adaway said. “But going into the game, we just try to keep the same mindset and just give it our all.”
Miami heads to Dayton to take on Wright State on Wednesday. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3.