Miami men’s basketball dropped both their Tuesday contest against the Kent State Flashes and their Saturday game against the University of Buffalo Bulls. Both games were away and Miami continues to struggle to find victory on the road and victory against Mid-American Conference opponents.
After the past week’s games the RedHawks are now 10-17 overall, 3-11 in the MAC and 0-11 on the road.
“They played pretty good, just not good enough,” assistant coach Trey Meyer said. “We did rebound the ball well, that was a big issue coming in, during the past couple weeks. We did out-rebound them [Kent State].”
Tuesday’s game ended with a score of 76-72 after the lead changed five times.
Miami jumped out to the lead and after eight minutes in, the RedHawks sat comfortably with the score at 15-6. The Flashes countered after the halfway point of the first half and began cutting into the lead that Miami had built.
With five minutes left in the half, KSU brought Miami’s lead down to one. The Flashes’ defense held Miami’s lead to five and below. Two good free throws from Miami’s freshman guard Michael Weathers and a three-pointer from junior forward Rod Mills Jr. ended the half with the RedHawks leading 31-26.
“Played a very good first half, up by five at the break and it was kind of a slower paced game,” Meyer said. “The second half, the tempo increased. We didn’t play well defensively in the second half.”
Though Miami has recently struggled with falling behind early in ball games, the back and forth start that the second half led to the maintenance of the RedHawks’ lead. Freshman center Darius Harper had five points in the first five minutes and points from junior guard Abdoulaye Harouna and freshman forward Marcus Weathers put Miami ahead 41-34.
A mere two minutes later found the two teams tied at 41. A minute later, KSU went up by one and then seconds later Miami snatched the lead back. Within three minutes of play, the lead was tied three times and Miami led 50-48 with just over 10 minutes left in the game. It would be the last time the RedHawks led.
KSU kept coming until their lead reached double-digits with five minutes left. Junior forward Logan McLane and Michael Weathers chipped away at the Flashes’ lead until it was 74-72 with a second left. After Mills fouled, KSU’s senior guard Deon Edwin sunk two free throws and the clock ticked to zero, Miami found themselves with a 76-72 loss.
Michael Weathers ended with 22 points and seven rebounds. Marcus Weathers had 18 points and 10 rebounds and McLane had 12 points and 10 rebounds for double-doubles. Statistically, Miami had better numbers from the paint (46.4 percent) but Kent State shot more.
After the weekend and another game against Akron, Kent is now 15-12 overall, 7-7 in the MAC and 8-5 at home.
The ‘Hawks travelled 220 miles for Saturday’s afternoon game against Buffalo. The game ended with Miami having to take a 71-58 loss back to Oxford.
Miami led for the first three minutes of the game, but Buffalo quickly found their stride and built a 15-9 lead halfway through the first half.
The RedHawks held the Bulls’ lead to under 10 for the rest of the half. The Red and White even managed to bring the game within one with seven minutes left. A quiet two minutes followed before McLane and Redshirt sophomore guard Jake Wright put Miami up by two.
The Bulls went on an 8-0 run to end the half at 30-24.
“We out-rebounded them also,” Meyer said. “The biggest thing, like against Kent State, the defensive breakdowns in the second half cost us again.”
Miami opened the second half and answered Buffalo’s baskets but had fallen too far behind during the first half to mount any kind of comeback.
Five minutes into the second half, the Bulls went ahead by 10. Miami valiantly fought back with points from Mills and Harper to try and keep their deficit below double-digits. After eight minutes into the half, Buffalo found a way to maintain their momentum and their double-digit lead.
The Bulls never ran away with the game, but the RedHawks were never able to sustain any kind of offensive energy and fell 71-58.
Buffalo is now 15-12 overall with a six-game winning streak, 9-5 in the MAC and 7-3 at home.
Buffalo shot better from the paint (46.4 percent) than Miami (37.7 percent). Michael Weathers had 19 points and Mills had 16.
“I think it’s a lot of little things. It’s not just one thing. When you talk about winning, especially on the road, you have to be able to defend without fouling. You have to be able to rebound. You have to be able to take care of the ball,” Meyer said. “And you have to get good shots on offense. The higher percentage of shots you get, the more likely you are to make them and score.”
Today, Miami faces Ohio University at Millett Hall at 7 p.m in their first matchup of the season.