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RedHawks visit Toledo looking to snap three-game losing streak

<p>Redshirt junior forward James Beck dunks the ball during a loss against Akron on Feb 12.</p>

Redshirt junior forward James Beck dunks the ball during a loss against Akron on Feb 12.

For the first time all season, the Miami men’s basketball team got to play a game on the ESPN family networks.

Despite the loss, the team didn’t disappoint, showing it can compete with the best teams in the conference. The RedHawks led by as many as five points in the second half before losing to the Akron Zips, 83-76. Currently, the Zips are second in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) with a 10-3 conference record.

This Tuesday, the RedHawks will travel to take on the only team ahead of Akron in the standings, the Toledo Rockets. The Rockets are 16-6 this season, with an 11-3 MAC record. 

After coming close to beating a top-tier MAC team last Friday, the ’Hawks will get another shot this Tuesday.

Players to Watch

In the last matchup of these two teams, Miami did a good job of containing the Rockets’ top scorer, senior guard Mareon Jackson, to just nine points on 3-of-9 shooting. It wasn’t enough, as Miami lost, 90-81.

The Achilles’ heel for the ’Hawks defense that night was junior forward J.T. Shumate, who shot a perfect 11-of-11 from the field (and 5-of-5 from 3-point range) to score 33 points. Shumate has used that performance to catapult his game, averaging 17 points per game in the last four contests.

For the RedHawks, it was junior guard Mekhi Lairy who carried the load in the teams’ last matchup, scoring 17 points and dishing out five assists. Lairy carried his hot streak into last Friday’s matchup against Akron, scoring a career-high 24 points.

Redshirt junior forward James Beck has been a revelation off the bench for Miami this season. Beck scored 24 points against Buffalo two Saturdays ago and has been a rebounding machine.

While the team doesn’t need Beck to score 24 every game, a solid 10 points and six rebounds is exactly what Miami needs from its reserves.

SCOUTING REPORT 

The Game 

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Tipoff: 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at John F. Savage Arena

TV: ESPN3

Radio: Miami Radio Network 

MIAMI REDHAWKS 

Record: 8-8, 5-6 MAC 

Offense: 71.9 ppg 

Defense: 72.4 ppg 

PROJECTED LINEUP 

Player (position, height, key stat) 

Mekhi Lairy (guard, 5’8”, 13.2 ppg) 

Dae Dae Grant (guard, 6’2”, 13.4 ppg) 

Myja White (guard, 6’1”,  38.6% 3-pt fg) 

Dalonte Brown (forward, 6’7”, 11.6 ppg) 

Eli McNamara (forward, 6’9”, 4.1 ppg) 

TOLEDO ROCKETS 

Record: 16-6, 11-3 MAC 

Offense: 80.5 ppg 

Defense: 72.1 ppg 

PROJECTED LINEUP

Player (position, height, key stat) 

Marreon Jackson (guard, 6’1”, 17.2 ppg)

Ryan Rollins (guard, 6’4, 13.4 ppg)

Spencer Littleson (guard, 6’4”, 13.1 ppg)

Setric Millner Jr. (forward, 6’6”, 12.7 ppg)

JT Shumate (forward, 6’7”, 12.6 ppg)

@LukasTheDream

nelso156@miamioh.edu

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