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YPSILANTI, Mich. - The Miami University men’s basketball begins a stretch of four out of its next five games on the road when it travels to Eastern Michigan Tuesday. Tip time is 7 p.m. and it will air live on ESPN3.
BATTLE FOR A BYE: The RedHawks are currently 6-6 in the MAC and if the tournament started today would be the fifth seed. They are still very much in contention for the first round bye that is awarded to the top four seeds. The current three and four seeds are Ball State and Western Michigan at 7-5. Miami holds a tiebreaker over the Cardinals due to their head-to-head victory earlier in the year.
SIBANDE KEEPS STREAK ALIVE: Freshman guard Nike Sibande finished with 13 points against Toledo on Friday. It was the 16th straight game in which Sibande has had double figures in scoring. He has reached double figures in 21 out of 25 games this season.
RINGO NATIONAL RANKINGS WATCH: Junior guard Darrian Ringo currently ranks sixth in the nation with 185 total assists while his 7.4 assists per game average ranks fourth. Ringo is eighth in the country with 62 total steals. His 2.48 steals per game average also ranks eighth.
ABOUT EASTERN MICHIGAN: The Eagles are 14-11 overall and 5-7 in the MAC. They had a two-game winning streak broken on Saturday when Bowling Green knocked them off, 70-63, in overtime. EMU held a 17-point lead at halftime before the Falcons came storming back to win. The Eagles are the top ranked defensive team in the MAC, giving up an average of 68.0 points per game. They are the only team that gives up less points per game then Miami. Offensively Eastern Michigan is a balanced team that has three players averaging in double figures. Its leading scorer is redshirt junior forward Elijah Minnie. He averages 15.6 points per game. Junior center James Thompson IV averages a double-double with 14.9 points and a MAC-leading 12.0 rebounds per game.
THE SERIES WITH EASTERN MICHIGAN: Miami holds a 49-26 lead in the all-time series with Eastern Michigan. The Eagles have won five straight in the series however. That includes a 58-48 victory earlier this season on Jan. 27 in Oxford. Miami had a strong defensive performance, but struggled to solve the EMU zone. The Eagles took advantage and used a 13-0 run in the second half to pull away.
UP AHEAD: The RedHawks remain on the road as they head to rival Ohio for their first “Battle of the Bricks” meeting on Saturday. Game time is at 3:30 p.m. and it will air live on ESPN3.