Late Comeback Falls Short as Toledo Tops Miami in Quarterfinals

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March 8, 2018

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CLEVELAND - The Miami University men's basketball team nearly battled back from a 12-point deficit late in the second half, but ultimately came up two points short as Toledo survived in the Mid-American Conference Quarterfinal match to take a 71-69 victory. The RedHawks are now 16-17 on the season, while the Rockets advance to the MAC Semifinals and improve to 22-10.

Freshman guard Nike Sibande scored 13 of his team-high 20 points in the second half in nearly leading Miami to the comeback. Junior guard Darrian Ringo was a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range and finished with 19 points.

The RedHawks had a 42-35 rebounding advantage against the Rockets and held the prolific three-point shooting team to over 20 percent under their average at 17.4 percent (4-for-23). Miami was hurt by a tough night at the free throw line, finishing 8-for-15 (53.3 percent) from the charity stripe.

A layup from sophomore forward Bam Bowman and a triple from Ringo gave Miami an early 5-2 lead. The Rockets took the advantage back before a jumper from Sibande, another triple from Ringo and a layup by senior forward Logan McLane put the `Hawks on top, 14-9 with 12:29 to go.

Ringo continue to provide the offense, scoring five more points to help build the lead to six at 19-13. Despite a three-pointer from Sibande, Toledo went on an 11-3 run to go in front 24-22 at the 6:55 mark. An old-fashioned three-point play by freshman Dalonte Brown gave Miami the lead back as it changed hands three more times before the half ended with Toledo on top, 30-29.

Miami shot 11-for-30 (36.7 percent) during the first half, while holding the Rockets to 14-for-36 (38.9 percent shooting). Toledo was 2-for-16 from behind the arc (12.5 percent). Ringo led the RedHawks with 13 points, while Sibande had seven.

Bowman had a couple layups as Miami retook the lead to begin the second half. After a layup from freshman guard Jalen Adaway gave the RedHawks a 36-35 lead, the Rockets went on a 21-10 run to take a 56-46 lead with 9:19 to go. McLane answered with a layup, while Adaway completed an old-fashioned three-point play to pull Miami within seven, but Toledo built its largest lead at 63-51 with 6:44 remaining.

Still down 11, a layup from Sibande made it 65-56 at the 3:47 mark. Ringo followed with a layup, while Brown hit a triple to make it 65-61 with 2:03 to go. The Rockets followed by making two from the line, before Sibande answered with a layup. After two more free throws from UT, a Sibande triple cut the deficit to three at 69-66 with 26 seconds to go.

The Rockets converted one of two free throws to make it a four-point game before Sibande drained a contested three with 11 seconds remaining. Miami fouled with 9.2 to go, and Toledo converted one of two again to give the `Hawks one more chance. On the final possession Sibande got another contested look at the three, but it bounced just wide giving the Rockets the 71-69 win.

Bowman had 10 points for the RedHawks, while Brown had seven points and eight rebounds. Adaway finished with seven points and seven rebounds. Toledo was led by Jaelan Sanford with 21 points.

The season is not over yet as Miami will be competing in postseason basketball. It will be the RedHawks first postseason appearance since 2011. Check back with MiamiRedHawks.com and on social media over the weekend for more information.