OXFORD, OH -- Freshman point guard Michael Weathers scored 10 of his game-high 24 points down the stretch as the Miami RedHawks weathered a late Austin Peay rally to post a 76-70 Tarkett Sports Classic victory Saturday at Millett Hall.
The Governors wiped out a 16-point second half deficit to defeat Northern Kentucky in Friday’s opening game, and they looked like they might pull off a similar reversal Saturday against MU.
The RedHawks led most of the way and were up by 13 with 8:10 remaining in the final period. Austin Peay then chipped away, pulling to within one point at 70-69 following a 3-point goal by Jared Savage with 2:19 left.
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Wright converted both tosses to put the hosts up by five before Austin Peay got off one more trey attempt. That missed the mark and Weathers made one of two free throws after being fouled at :02.
In addition to Weathers, who also had nine rebounds and five assists, three other RedHawks reached double figures. Wright provided 16 points and hit four of MU’s seven 3-point goals. Overall, Miami converted 7 of 28 from beyond the arc, while APU connected on 7 of 27. Rod Mills owned 12 points, while Abdoulaye Harouna chipped in 11 points.
After falling behind early and losing two straight games by just two points, the RedHawks took an early lead. Weathers’ layup at 16:52 of the first half put the hosts up 7-6.
Harouna’s triple at 9:07 pushed the lead to double digits, 23-12, and Miami eventually took a 40-28 lead into the break. A key factor in MU’s advantage was a 15-0 edge in points off turnovers. It also had a 7-0 edge in fast break points and 6-0 in points off the bench.
Miami’s lead expanded to 16 points (45-29) early in the second half. Austin Peay halved that, 57-49 at 9:53. But MU inched it back to 13 before the Governors’ final push.
Austin Peay connected on 11 of 30 shots (36.7%) from the field in both halves. They made 7 of 25 (25.9%) of the 3-point attempts and 76 percent (19 of 25) of their free throws.
A total of 50 fouls were called. Jones fouled out and another four Governors reached four fouls. MU had one player foul out and another reached four fouls.