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Embarrassed and vowing to improve, the RedHawks hit the court

<p>Dalonte Brown attempts a layup against Wright State on Nov. 11 at Millett Hall. Brown scored 14 points in Miami&#x27;s 88-81 loss. </p>

Dalonte Brown attempts a layup against Wright State on Nov. 11 at Millett Hall. Brown scored 14 points in Miami's 88-81 loss.

Jack Owens repeated himself six times.

“We have to be better. We have to get better,” Miami University’s third-year men’s basketball coach said Monday at his weekly press conference, two days after his RedHawks were embarrassed by rival Ohio University.

He offered some variation of the phrase four more times in six minutes but for good reason.

The Bobcats dominated Miami from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

In a historically bad first half, the RedHawks scored 11 points. They shot 10 percent (3-of-29) from the field and flailed through nearly 17 minutes without a field goal.

Despite Miami playing a little better in the second, Ohio still cruised to a 77-46 victory. 

The RedHawks have lost eight of their 10 games in 2020 — all against Mid-American opponents — leaving Owens and Co. searching for answers. They sit at 9-14 overall.

“We’ve just got to get better. We have to get better and stay the course, and obviously, we have to play with confidence,” Owens said. “No one likes going through what we’re going through, but this is part of it. All I know is, we have to keep working, and get better and keep doing our job.”

Lately, the RedHawks haven’t been doing a good job on offense or defense.

Miami’s defense ranks last in points given up in the MAC, while the offense shoots less than 41 percent from the field, second-worst in the league.

No individual RedHawk stands out either. 

Junior guard and top Miami scorer Nike Sibande averages only 12.5 points per game against in-conference competition.

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Freshman guard Dae Dae Grant scores 11.5 points per game, but he shoots 37 percent from the field.

No one else averages double digits, and the lack of offense hasn’t been rectified on defense.

Miami’s Tuesday opponent, Toledo, is facing similar struggles.

The Rockets have lost five straight straight after splitting their first six MAC games. Coincidentally, their last win came against Ohio last month in Athens.

For Owens, it doesn’t matter who his team is playing. His message remains the same.

“Every day and every game is an opportunity to get better and improve our situation,” he said. “I’ve been in situations where one game can turn things around from a confidence standpoint and get us rolling. We have eight opportunities here before the conference tournament starts. We’ve got to get better, and we have to continue to work and find ways to win games.”


The Game

Tipoff: 7 p.m. Tuesday at Savage Arena

TV/Radio: ESPN+, Miami Sports Network from Van Wagner


Record: 9-14, 2-8 MAC

Offense: 71.9 ppg

Defense: 72.5 ppg


Player (position, height, key stat)

Dae Dae Grant (guard, 6'2", 9.6 ppg)

Nike Sibande (guard, 6'4", 13.3 ppg)

Myja White (guard, 6'1", 2.6 ppg)

Dalonte Brown (forward, 6'7", 11.3 ppg)

Bam Bowman (forward, 6'8", 6.5 ppg)


Record: 11-13, 3-8 MAC

Offense: 75.8 ppg

Defense: 70.8 ppg


Player (position, height, key stat)

Marreon Jackson (guard, 6’0", 19.5 ppg)

Keshaun Saunders (guard, 6'5", 7.8 ppg)

Spencer Littleson (guard, 6’4", 10.5 ppg)

Willie Jackson (forward, 6'6", 12.0 ppg)

Luke Knapke (forward, 6’11”, 16.1 ppg)