RedHawks win tourney; even record
Quantity/Quality at free throw line sends MU past EIU
By MIKE SMITH
OXFORD, OH -- Freshman Evan Ipsaro scored 18 points and four RedHawks reached double figures as Miami downed Eastern Illinois Sunday at Millett Hall.
With the victory, MU went 2-0 in the Miami Classic and raised its record to 2-2 on the season. The RedHawks defeated Coppin State 76-48 Friday night. Eastern Illinois, which edged Coppin State 48-46 Saturday, fell to 2-4 on the season.
Joining Ipsaro in double figures Sunday were Darweshi Hunter (16), Byrson Bultman (11) and Mekhi Cooper (11). Bultman, who tallied 21 Friday, was named tournament MVP.
Nakyel Shelton led the Panthers, hitting 8 of 16 from . . .
. . . the field while finishing with 21 points. Kyndall Davis and Sincere Malone added 10 apiece.
Eastern Illinois connected on 40.3 percent from the field overall, but was just 4 of 18 (22.2%) on treys.
Miami, meanwhile, hit 19 of 41 (46.4%) from the field and 7 of 17 (41.2%) outside the arc.
The biggest statistical difference came at the foul line, where EIU made 10 of 11 tries. Miami got to the line for 39 shots and made 31.
The RedHawks never trailed and scored the game's first nine points. They were up 20-10 at 11:43 when Copper kicked off an 8-0 run. Hunter's layup at 9:12 gave Miami its biggest lead of the first half (18 points). Eastern Illinois cut that in half with 2:28 to go, but the RedHawks took a 43-30 lead to the locker room.
Miami expanded its advantage to 19 points following an Ipsaro and-one with 17:40 remaining in the contest and still led by 18 (58-40) at 12:22. From there, however, the visitors chipped away. A pair of Shelton free throws at 7:39 pulled EIU within five at 63-58. The last three points of the Panther's run came on free throws. One from an and-one that saddled Ipsaro with his fourth foul. That not only brought him to the bench for a while, it led to a technical foul on Hunter.
Eastern Illinois was again within five (69-64) with 2:28 left, but MU closed out the win with seven unanswered points -- five at the foul line -- for the final 12-point margin.
-- Miami will be at St. Bonaventure Saturday (2 p.m. ET). It then finishes November with a home game against Spalding University (Ky).
-- EIU owned a slight 32-30 edge in rebounds and 13-4 advantage in second chance points.
-- The Panthers outscored MU in the paint, 30-16. Miami head coach Travis Steele is hoping to improve inside once centers Anderson Mirambeaux and Reece Potter return.
-- Miami (13 TO) outscored EIU (16 TO) in points off turnovers 23-18.
-- Morris registered four of MU's five blocks. Hunter recorded three steals, while Cooper and Dean Bradley pilfered two apiece.
Editor-Publisher Mike Smith
Mike grew up in Mid-American Conference football and basketball territory and returned there after military service. He has been covering MAC football and men's basketball for much of the last several decades.