College basketball: Miami blitzed by Marshall

Credit: David A. Moodie

Credit: David A. Moodie

Alter product Conner scores 10 off the bench for Thundering Herd

OXFORD -- Three days after putting together an encouraging effort during a 77-70 loss at Georgia on Monday, Miami’s men’s basketball team came up cold on Thursday in a non-conference home game against Marshall.

The visiting Thundering Herd quickly took command and never trailed on the way to a 95-69 win before a crowd of 2,157 at Millett Hall in Oxford.

“I told the guys I was embarrassed by our performance – not by the result, but by our response,” first-year Miami coach Travis Steele said. “We  got close, but then they hit a couple of 3s and we came apart. We’re playing a lot of walk-ons and freshmen. We’ll figure it out.

“We have to sink or swim. Tonight, we sunk. All I saw were blank stares once we got punched in the mouth.”

The loss leaves Miami (1-3) winless against Division I opponents this season. The RedHawks have posted their only win of the young season against NAIA Division II Goshen (Ind.), 87-44, on Nov. 12.

“Down in Georgia, we fought back,” Steele said. “We told the players before the game that we thought Marshall was better than Georgia. Their guards are elite. Give them credit. They shot the ball well. We gave them too much space. You’re not going to win a game of H-O-R-S-E  with Marshall.”

The RedHawks didn’t help themselves with some quick shots that allowed the speedy Thundering Herd to race down the floor before Miami could set up a defense.

“You can’t out-Marshall Marshall,” Steele said. “They’re in to the top five in the country every year. You’ve got to slow down and make them play side-to-side.”

Anderson Mirambeaux, the 6-foot-8, 305-pound Dominican Republic native and transfer from Cleveland State, led Miami with 19 points and six rebounds in 22:27 minutes.

“We didn’t compete,” the senior forward said. “The coaches did a good job with the scouting reports. We just didn’t come out ready to play.”

Julian Lewis, a 6-6 sophomore guard, added 15 points in 31:53 for Miami.

The Thundering Herd scored on alley-oop dunk off a sideline inbounds midway through the second half pass on the way to leading by as many as 31 points with just more than minute to go.

Marshall (2-1) outscored Miami 44-20 in the paint, shot 50 percent (13-of-26) on 3-pointers and 56.1 percent (37-of-66) overall. Miami could manage just 30.8 percent (20-of-65) overallnand 18.8 percent (6-of-32) on 3-pointers.

The Thundering Herd committed 19 turnovers to Miami’s 18 but outscored the RedHawks in points off turnovers, 27-11.

Alter High School product Jacob Conner, a 6-8 freshman guard-forward, scored 10 points in just more than 28 minutes off the bench for the Thundering Herd (2-1). Conner was one of five Marshall players to reach double figures.

The RedHawks are off until Sunday when they travel to Indianapolis, Ind., to face the Indiana Hoosiers in a 5:30 p.m. Hoosier Classic game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Their next home game is Nov. 26 against Little Rock. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Thundering Herd rushed out to a 12-2 lead. Miami cut that lead to two points midway through the first half, but Marshall closed the half with a 17-7 run and pulled away from there.

Marshall committed 11 turnovers to Miami’s eight and sank just four of eight free throws before halftime, but rode hot shooting from the field to a 45-31 halftime lead. The Thundering Herd shot 59.3 percent overall  (16-of-27) and 56.3 percent on 3-pointers (9-of-16).

Mirambeaux led the RedHawks with 11 points before halftime. Miami shot just 29.4 percent (10-of-34) overall and 17.6 percent (3-of-17) on 3-pointers.

“There’s going to be a lot of people talking,” Mirambeaux said. “We’ve just got to stick together and keep going. We’ll get better.”

SUNDAY’S GAME

Miami vs. Indiana, 5:30 p.m., BTN, 980, 1450

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