Rebound, fast-break problems lead to Miami loss
Hunter again scores 21 to lead RedHawks
By MIKE SMITH
OXFORD, OH - Darweshi Hunter equaled his opening night total with 21 points again Saturday, but the Miami RedHawks fell to Texas State 75-65 at Saturday Millett Hall. Miami fell to 0-2 with the loss, while TSU evened its record at 1-1.
Texas State dominated the boards, out-rebounding the hosts 44-26 overall, including a 20-6 advantage in offensive rebounds. With MU center Anderson Mirambeaux out until at least some time in December (and 7-1 Reece Potter also unavailable), the Bobcats were able to register a 36-22 edge on points in the paint.
"I told our guys before the game, they (TSU) are a really good rebounding team. They had 21 offensive rebounds in Game 1," Miami Head Coach Travis Steel said. "We don't have two bigs right now. . . . It is what it is, so our guys have to block out. . . It's not rocket science."
Four TSU players reached double figures, led by Tyrel Morgan's 19 points. Kaden Gumbs added 14, while Brandon Love (13) and Christian Turner (12) combined for 25 points.
Three Miami players reached double figures. Joining Hunter were . . .
. . . center Jaquel Morris (12) and Mekhi Cooper (11). Morris also recorded a team-high eight rebounds and two blocks before fouling out with 2:43 remaining.
Miami never led but tied the contest at 8-all before TSU ran off 10 straight points.
The RedHawks chipped away, outscoring Texas State 12-4 to knot things at 20-20 after a Morris layup at 6:01.
After TSU expanded its lead to seven, Miami cut it to one on Bradley Dean's and-one (30-29) at 1:49. However, the Bobcats hit two treys in the final 38 seconds as part of a 10-2 run and took a 40-31 lead to intermission.
The visitors pushed their lead as high as 12 points (51-39) in the second half, but MU pulled within five on three different occasions. The final time was at 1:13 when two Hunter free throws made it a 68-63 game. As it did in the first half, however, Texas State finished on a run (7-2 this time) to post the 75-65 victory.
-- Steel is looking forward to the return of Potter (currently out with an injury). "Reece tried to play at Evansville," Steele noted. "He can't move. . . . The dude led us in scoring in (the) Puerto Rico (tournament)."
-- Asked about MU's pace of play with the current roster, Steele said, "We've got to play faster, but its hard when I don't have any subs. . . . We've got to adjust a little bit now to what we've got."
-- Miami connected on 41.7 per cent from the field overall and 27.8 percent (5 of 18) on treys. After making just 4 of 11 (36.4%) from the free throw line at Evansville, the RedHawks knocked down 20 of 28 (71.8%) opportunities against TSU.
-- Texas State shot 46.0 percent from the floor (29 of 63), 40.0 percent (6 of 15) on triples and 52.4 percent (11 of 21) at the charity stripe.
-- In addition to their big rebounding advantage, the Bobcats owned a 21-8 advantage in fast break points. Steele attributed some of TSU's success to Miami turnovers. "Our offense and our inability to execute -- to take care of the ball -- really impacts our transition defense."
-- Texas State demonstrated a tenacious half court defense. However, after 20 turnovers at Evansville, MU committed 14 against TSU. Most came early. "We can't start off games with nine turnovers in the first 10 minutes," Steele said. "That's an absolute joke (and) that's two games in a row that we've done that. . . . You've got to take care of the ball."
-- Miami's bench is now located on the southern end of the west side. In recent years, it has been along the Northern end of the west side.
-- The RedHawks return to action Friday (home) against Coppin State (7 p.m. ET). They host Eastern Illinois Sunday (1 p.m. ET) and travel to St. Bonaventure (2 p.m. ET) Nov. 25.
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.