Thursday, December 1, 2016

Miami Redhawks Weather Storm to Top Grambling State Tigers in Overtime, 78-76

OXFORD, Ohio -- The Miami men's basketball team `Weathered' a storm to erase a 15-point second half deficit in a 78-76 overtime win over Grambling State on Wednesday night.

Michael Weathers and Marcus Weathers combined to score 46 of the team's 78 points to key the RedHawks' (4-3) comeback victory.

Both teams took some time to get on track offensively, with four Ervin Mitchell points countered by four from Rod Mills representing the lone scoring over the first four minutes and change. Miami grabbed a 6-4 lead, but Grambling countered with seven points in a row to go on top 11-6 with 12:35 left in the opening frame.

After cutting the deficit to 13-11, the Tigers (3-5) reeled off eight-straight points, with help from a couple of three point shots by Nigel Ribeiro and Remond Brown to grab a 22-11 lead with under eight to play in the half. The RedHawks began connecting from downtown as well with trifectas by Jake Wright, Marcus Weathers and Michael Weathers pulling them within six at 26-20. The Tigers' lead eventually grew to 12 (34-22) with 2:46 remaining and maintained that margin with a 38-26 lead at the half.

Trailing 41-28 early in the second half, the Red and White embarked on a 9-0 run to pull within four at 41-37. Wright started the rally with the three-pointer while both Michael Weathers continued the surge with a block and coast-to-coast layup while Marcus Weathers added a layup before Michael Weathers capped the run with another bucket.

The Tigers bulked their lead back to 51-40 with 12:29 left on the strength of a 10-3 spurt and eventually upped their lead to 15 at 62-47 with 8:52 left.

Miami trimmed the deficit down to seven (65-58) thanks to good free throw shooting along with an old fashioned three-point play by Michael Weathers. A pair of Abdoulaye Harouna free throws and another basket by Michael Weathers brought the score 65-62 while Marcus Weathers split a pair of free throws to make it 65-63 with under a minute and a half remaining.

The RedHawks got a stop on defense after the split and created a good look at a go-ahead three that was off the mark. Miami then drew a charge at the defensive end to give it the ball with 22 seconds left in a two-point game. The Tigers tried to press on the inbound, but Michael Weathers gathered it near the RedHawk baseline and worked through traffic before eventually tying it on a layup with 10 seconds left to send the game to overtime, finishing regulation on an 18-3 run.

After MU won the opening tip of overtime, Harouna opened the frame with a three-pointer to give the team its first lead since 6-4 in the early stages. Michael Weathers upped the lead to 70-65 on a pair of free throws before Grambling answered with its first basket in 8:20 to pull within 70-67 with 3:42 left in the extra session.

Miami's lead eventually grew to 73-67, but a 6-1 Grambling spurt left the lead at 74-73 with just over a minute to go. With time winding down, Dion Wade found Marcus Weathers at the low block where he went in for a dunk. Harouna then hit a layup with 12 seconds left to bulk the lead to five, but the Tigers countered with a three-pointer to make it 78-76 in the waning seconds. Miami missed a couple free throws on the ensuing possession, but a desperation heave by Grambling State was off the mark at the buzzer.

Michael Weathers led all scorers with 26 points and dished out eight assists while Marcus Weathers added 18 along with 12 rebounds (both season highs) for his first career double-double. Wright and Harouna also finished in double figures with 12 apiece.

Miami ended up shooting 46.2 percent from the field while Grambling State hit 42.9 percent of its shots. Both teams made seven three pointers on the evening, but MU outscored GSU by 14 at the foul line with a 23-of-32 (71.9 percent) mark compared to Grambling State's 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) clip. The RedHawks held a 44-37 rebounding advantage, though they committed 20 turnovers compared to the Tigers' 13.

The Red and White return to the court on Saturday when they take on Fort Wayne on the road. Opening tip is at 2:30 p.m.



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