In a game too competitive to be decided in 40 minutes, the men’s basketball team hung on in overtime to beat the Wright State Raiders 73-67 in Miami’s home opener on Tuesday.
This marks back-to-back games decided in the final two minutes of regulation or in overtime to start the RedHawks’ (2-0) season. It’s also the first time Miami has started a season 2-0 since 2011.
“I like our guys’ fight right now,” Miami head coach Jack Owens said. “They’re definitely competing, and I thought overall we did a good job. Everybody contributes — I think that’s a sign of a good team.”
The game was a dogfight from the beginning, with Wright State scoring six straight points to open the contest. Miami responded with a 9-0 run of its own, led by freshman forward Dalonte Brown, who scored the first four of those points.
The first half was sloppy for both teams, as Miami committed 12 personal fouls and Wright State turned the ball over 10 times.
With 1:23 left in the first half and the teams tied at 32, freshman guards Nike Sibande and Jalen Adaway stepped up. First, a Sibande three and then an Adaway dunk gave the RedHawks a 37-32 lead at the half.
Similar to the first half, Miami started slow in the second, allowing the Raiders to take a 38-37 lead on a 5-0 run. The RedHawks countered with a 5-0 run of their own.
MU held the lead for the next eight and a half minutes before WSU stormed back, capitalizing on a RedHawk offensive drought to take an eight point 61-53 lead — the game’s biggest lead for either team — with 3:48 to go.
Nevertheless, the ‘Hawks kept fighting. Sibande and senior forward Rod Mills Jr. each hit threes, before junior point guard Darrian Ringo converted a layup, knotting the game at 61 with 1:27 left in regulation.
The Raiders took a 63-61 lead, as redshirt freshman forward Everett Winchester and redshirt junior guard Tye Wilburn each went one-of-two at the free throw line.
With 14 seconds remaining, Ringo buried two clutch free throws to tie the game after being fouled by Radier guard Mark Hughes.
“I just tuned everybody out, and I just knew I was going to hit the two free throws,” Ringo said. “I was confident in myself, and I knocked them down.”
Wright State had a chance to win, but Hughes missed a jumper with three seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Miami never trailed in overtime, dominating the extra half on the backs of two Rod Mills three pointers and two more Darrian Ringo free throws to clinch the game and give the RedHawks the 73-67 victory.
Nike Sibande led the RedHawks scoring with 17 points, but it was Darrian Ringo’s 10 point, 10 assist double-double and clutch free throws that sealed the win.
“When you look at our stats and see what Ringo did — 10 points, 10 assists, and two turnovers — that’s unbelievable for a point guard,” Owens said. “I was a point guard and I never did that.”
Senior forward Logan McLane was the ‘Hawks’ defensive anchor and leading rebounder, finishing with eight boards.
This was another great game in a historically competitive Miami-Wright State rivalry. Miami now leads the all-time series between the two universities 20-13.
Miami will travel to Montego Bay, Jamaica on Wednesday to participate in the Jamaica Classic tournament this weekend. The RedHawks will take on LIU Brooklyn on Friday, and Hartford on Sunday. Both games will be nationally broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.