OXFORD, Ohio -- With former Miami, MAC and NBA all-star Wayne Embry on hand, Miami’s current big man -- Bam Bowman --turned in a big performance Saturday at Millett Hall to lead the RedHawks past rival Ohio 79-59.
Embry, who was honored by Miami Athletics with a Wayne Embry Day, did much of his damage around the basket. Bowman also scored inside, and grabbed 12 rebounds. However, among his game-high 23-points were two 3-point goals -- something still 10 years in the NBA future when Embry retired from the playing ranks in 1969.
"Bam is growing as a player. He's growing as a leader," Miami head coach Jack Owens said. "I'm just excited for Bam, because of all the hard work he's putting in."
Three other RedHawks also reached double figures as Miami improved its record to 13-11 (5-6 MAC) and won for the fifth time in its last seven outings. Darrien Ringo tallied 14 points, followed by Nike Sibande (13) and Jalen Adaway (10).
Sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk paced the Bobcats (11-11, 3-7 MAC) with 18 points, followed by forwards Jason Carter (16) and Ben Vander Plass (12).
"He's a talented player ... and his best basketball is ahead of him as he continues to improve," Owens said of Kirk.
Miami jumped out to a quick lead and never trailed, The game’s only tie was at 3-3. Jalen Adaway’s layup at 11:51 gave the hosts a double-digit lead at 21-10. By the 6:33 mark, it was an 19-point (33-15) MU advantage, and the RedHawks took a 47-27 lead to the locker room.
"I would say it was our best half (of the season) -- probably offensively and defensively," Bowman said. "We were getting stops and flying about, but we were also executing our offense and making the easy plays."
"I think what we talked about at halftime were just some very simple adjustments and understanding that we had 20 minutes to play. We weren't going to get it by squeezing any harder then we already are and to just go out and play basketball."
Fortunes reversed after the break as Ohio quickly cut into the RedHawks lead with a 20-6 run. It might have worse for the hosts, but Bowman, provided at least some offense. He scored all six of Miami’s points as MU had just one field goal during that stretch. Ohio trailed by just six (53-47) when Miami head coach Jack Owens called time out at 12:57.
The stop proved effective for MU as it regrouped and put together a 12-2 burst. When Adaway sank two free throws at 5:55, the RedHawks owned a 16-point cushion at 65-49. They went up by 22 after two Sibande free throws at 2:35 and cruised to the final 20-point margin.
Miami, which shot 51.5 percent in the first stanza, fell back to 36.8 percent in the final period and went 24-for-52 (46.2%) from the floor overall. The RedHawks connected on 7-of-21 outside the arc and were 24-of-321 (77.4%) at the line.
Ohio shot 35.6 percent overall (21-of-59) and was 6-of-19 (31.6%) from distance. The ‘Cats struggled at the line, sinking just 11-of-21 attempts (52.4%).
While Ohio ranks fifth among MAC teams in rebounding (38.4 rpg) and Miami is 10th (26.0 rpg), the RedHawks owned a hefty 47-29 advantage in Saturday’s matchup.
-- Miami is off until next Saturday when it travels to Western Michigan (2 p.m. ET).
-- Ohio hosts Eastern Michigan Tuesday (7 p.m. ET)