RedHawks on target in return to action
Lineup for Cincinnati could get boost (see notes)
By MIKE SMITH
OXFORD, OH -- With exams in the rear view mirror and an upcoming game at Cincinnati on the horizon, the Miami RedHawks cruised past Columet College 85-49 Sunday at Millett Hall.
"We didn't practice a ton... just to be able to focus on finals," head coach Travis Steele said of the past week. "I thought our guys really started off the game really well. I thought our ball really moved today. I thought we got back to that."
Redshirt junior guard Morgan Safford led four RedHawks . . .
. . . in double figures, hitting 7-of-11 field goals and 2-of-3 treys on the way to 17 points. Point guard Mekhi Lairy and forward Anderson Mirambeaux contributed 15 points apiece, while freshman Billy Smith added 13 points.
The RedHawks shot 54.2 percent from the field and 53.8 percent outside the arc before intermission to built up a 47-23 lead into halftime. The Crimson Wave connected on 36.0 percent from the floor and 22.2 percent on treys during the first 20 minutes.
Miami never trailed and jumped out to a 7-0 lead, including five from Safford. It was the first of several RedHawk runs in the first stanza. After Calumet pulled within 10-6, MU tallied 11 straight points for a 21-6 advantage at 12:33.
Calumet was within 12 points later in the period when Miami went on a 14-0 run. The hosts largest lead was 43-17 with 2:07 remaining in the period.
Miami again seized momentum as the second half opened. After a Lairy baskey, Smith and Eli Yofan hit treys as MU went up 55-25. The RedHawks cruised in from there, finishing with an 8-0 run for the 85-49 final.
~~ Miami has been awaiting the return of several front line plays, and one them made it back Sunday. Javin Etzler, a 6-8 redshirt junior forward, logged 12 minutes of action. He hit one trey and grabbed one rebound during that time.
~~ Steele said the RedHawks will quickly "turn the page" in preparation of Wednesday's game at Cincinnati. When they turn the page, they hope to see several new faces on the court. Steele said it is possible that Kamari Williams and Julian Lewis (ankle) will be joining Etzler as available weapons. Ryan Mabrey should also be back. He was held out against Calumet as a precaution.
~~ Bryson Tatum narrowly missed double figures, registering nine points -- all coming off of triples as he connected on three-of-four from outside the arc during his 20 minutes of action against Calumet.
~~ MU tied a season high of 23 assists.
~~ Noel Mpie paced Calumet with 11 points, five of which came at the free throw line. He also had six rebounds two blocks and a steal.
~~ Cincinnati (6-4) is coming off an 80-77 loss to Xavier in Saturday's Crosstown Shootout. Prior to that, the Bearcats won three, lost three and won three.
~~ UC defeated the RedHawks 59-58 last year at Millett.
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.