There’s always a team or two in any given year that just seems to have your number. This year, it’s the bottom-of-the-MAC Miami Redhawls. After a one-point road loss earlier in the season, the Bulls ground one out at Alumni Arena this afternoon for a 71-58 victory.
Blake Hamilton built on 14 first-half points to finish with 23, for long stretches the only reliable offensive threat on the floor and in the second half answering every half-attempt at a comeback from Miami. He was 5-7 from distance.
Other than Hamilton, this wasn’t one to write home about. Dontay Caruthers had a quiet 12 and 7, but CJ Massinburg couldn’t find a bucket until the second half, and the most decisive stretch of the game came more from a series of RedHawk miscues out of the break than any one play, until consecutive threes from Hamilton and Perkins, with a Blake block in the middle, stretched the lead to 47-35 just outside of the U12 media.
Miami quietly played even with UB on the glass, but paid the foul trouble price of three starters stuck on the bench for stretches of the second half. When UB reached the bonus with 11 minutes to play, the RedHawks had only taken one foul shot in the game, and the visitors proved unable to score with any urgency, hitting just 5-19 beyond the arc, including 2-6 in the second.
With six in a row in their pocket, UB is edging closer to a Cleveland Bye for the fourth consecutive season. At 9-5 in the conference, they continue to pull clear of the mess of teams in the middle of the table. Next up: a Tuesday faceoff against Kent State that UB shouldn’t overlook before critical games against Ohio and Akron. k