Redhawks surge in overtime to claim victory

Miami-Ohio hits game-winner in overtime, to push Huskies back on the losing streak

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter

DeKALB — Men’s basketball was unable to survive a late rally by the Miami University of Ohio RedHawks Saturday, only able to watch as Miami hit the game-winning three-pointer with just milliseconds left in the overtime period to win 85-82.

Down 57-42 with 9:44 left in the game, Miami was able to storm back, tying the game at 74-74 with 11 seconds remaining thanks to a three-pointer by fifth year forward Dalonte Brown.

NIU took their first and only lead of overtime with a shot from three-point land by sophomore guard Keshawn Williams. Miami took control for the remainder of overtime until the 27 second mark, when NIU’s Williams sent another three through the net to tie it up at 82-82.

Brown came through once again from the RedHawks on their final shot as he sank a shot in from behind the arc to put Miami up 85-82 with 0.5 seconds remaining. NIU’s ensuing attempt at a miracle shot never materialized as the buzzer blared before the shot could be gotten off, sending the Huskies home with their third-straight loss.

“From a competitive standpoint, these guys competed,” head coach Rashon Burno said in a postgame interview with Huskie Sports Radio Network. “(Miami) just made a little bit more plays than we did in the second half.”

Huskies take the reigns early

The RedHawks took themselves out to a 3-0 advantage to open the scoring, making a layup and a free throw in the first 88 seconds. The Huskies registered four three-pointers as part of its first five scores to get ahead 14-7 in the fifth minute.

NIU continued to build off their early lead from there, taking the score to 21-9 by the ninth minute. The remainder of the first half saw NIU and Miami battle at a distance as the Huskies held on to a two-score lead for the final 14:27 before halftime.

The scoreboard at halftime showed the Huskies with a ten point advantage, up 37-27. The box score showed NIU with 14-for-31 shooting on field goals and 6-for-11 from behind the arc.

Miami came out of the half swinging as they opened the scoring with a layup 11 seconds in. The following eight minutes proved to be a slugfest as the two Mid-American Conference opponents exchanged scoring blows. The Huskies held a 48-42 advantage over the RedHawks with 12 minutes left.

RedHawks mount comeback

Down by 15, 59-44, at the 9:44 mark, the RedHawks began a resurgence that saw them gradually chip away at the Huskies’ lead. Miami was able to bring the score to 67-60 with two minutes remaining on the scoreboard. A flurry of scores by Miami in the closing minutes put them in striking distance, down 74-71, before Brown sank a three-pointer on the final play of regulation to send the game into overtime at 74-74.

NIU’s three-pointer 28 seconds into overtime was the Huskies’ final lead of the game as Miami reclaimed the lead for the remainder of the game. The teams tied one last time with 27 seconds left at 82-82 before Miami’s Brown proved to be the Redhawks’ savior once again with the game-winning three with 0.5 seconds left. NIU was unable to get their final attempt at a tie off in time, sending them away with the 85-82 loss.

“Our guys are devastated about the loss,” Burno said. “There’s some things that we can take from it but we’re moving in the right direction.”

Now with their second consecutive loss since beating Eastern Michigan University on Jan. 15, NIU’s overall record sinks to 5-11 and 2-3 against conference foes.

Williams finished the game with 28 points to lead all scorers. Williams’ total goes down as the second-highest number of points in a game in his career. The sophomore Huskie shot 8-for-13 from the field, including a trio of three-pointers. Senior guard Trendon Hankerson was second on NIU’s scoring leaderboard with 16 points, half coming from his 4-of-5 in three-point shooting.

“I’m encouraged,” Burno said. “We can shore some things up, make a couple more tweaks. We’ll put ourselves in a position to win some games down the stretch.”

The Huskies will continue their road stretch as they make their way to Athens, Ohio, to challenge the Ohio University Bobcats Tuesday. Tip-off for Tuesday’s game is set for 6 p.m at Ohio University’s Convocation Center. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.