Dayton – For the second time this season Miami lost to a basketball team from Dayton that overcame a big point deficit to win on a 3-point buzzer-beater as Wright State’s Todd Brown hit a 3-pointer from the corner to beat the visiting RedHawks 58-57.
Earlier this year Dayton’s Brian Roberts sunk a 3-pointer as time expired to lift the Flyers over Miami 63-62.
To make it more bizarre Wright State (4-3) also beat Miami last year 58-56 on a last second 3-pointer by DeShaun Wood.
In a game where Wright State never led until Brown’s winning shot Wright State battled back to finally tie it on two foul shots by Vaughn Duggins to make it 55-55 with 1:47 left.
After a missed shot by both teams Miami’s Kenny Hayes finally hit a jumper with 4.3 seconds left to put Miami up 57-55. After a review by the officials they added .7 of a second to the clock, so Wright State had five seconds to get the final play off.
After back to back timeouts Wright State threw it in under Miami’s basket and put the ball into Duggins’ hands just a few feet past the foul line. He dribbled past half court and split two RedHawk defenders and went streaking toward the basket when he got in the lane two defenders closed in on him and he kicked the ball out to Brown for the winning basket.
“We went to the guy who was going to score two points and the guy out in the corner was saying ‘whoa I can’t believe this,’ it was thank you, Merry Christmas,“ explained an exasperated Miami coach Charlie Coles.
Duggins was going for the shot until the RedHawk defender closed in on him. “They collapsed on me so I just kicked it out to Todd,” said a happy Duggins. It was a play they practiced a few times before, but not extensively.
Brown jokingly said they practiced the entire play that they call “Virginia” including how they would celebrate when they won.
In the first half the RedHawks were on fire and the Raiders looked a little tired. The fans in attendance may have witnessed Miami (4-4) play the best half of basketball they will see all year.
The Redhawks shot 73.9 percent (17-23) and 66.7 percent (6-9) from 3-point land as they took a 44-28 point lead into the locker room.
Coles was glad the RedHawks were hot but he knew it would not last. “We were scoring but that turned into fool’s gold. We had guys scoring that even you (pointing to a person in the back of the room) had to say ‘whoa how did that go in.’ You were not as motivated in the second half as you were in the first half because you think you have a big lead and I knew this team would fight back.”
Wright State’s coach Brad Brownell told his player’s to just keep chipping away at the score.
“We talked about doing a better job at chipping away and giving ourselves a chance here at home. They (Raiders) went through adversity in the second half in terms of missing free throws and losing opportunities to continue to cut the lead,” said Brownell. “Then to just continue to keep getting stops and getting stops to give ourselves a chance, then obviously Miami made a big shot to take the lead, then our guys executed a nice play at the end to win.”
In the second half Wright State out-scored Miami 33-13 and didn’t get the deficit to single digits until the 11:13 mark when Todd Brown hit a jumper to make the score 50-41.
After Wright State’s Jordan Pleiman hit a jumper to close the deficit to four points making it 53-49 Miami leading scorer Michael Bramos hurt his knee and was taken to the trainer’s room.
Miami’s Tim Pollitz led all scorers with 15 points. Troy Tabler led the Raiders with 14 points.
-Wright State’s Scottie Wilson was out tonight after colliding with Todd Brown in practice today when they practiced some live post trapping.
-Miami was without center Tyler Dierkers who was sick.
-When asked what the turning point in the game was Coles said, “It was when we had to play the second half. They were so much tougher than us. We were literally begging our players to play.”
=Coles on the playing Wright State……”They beat Butler and that is pretty impressive. Nobody beats Butler except Wright State. So we knew we were going to be in for a tough game.”
-Brownell pointed out that his Raiders have been on the receiving end and giving end of key baskets and stops. “We have gotten a stop when we needed one and we have not gotten a stop to win a game.. We have had a chance to make a bucket to win a game and haven’t made it and now we have made a bucket to win a game. It was good for our kids, we needed that to happen.” That was all in the last four game stretch.
-Busy Redhawks….tonight’s game is the start of a four game in eight day stretch. The RedHawks are home on 12/18 against Chicago State. Then on 12/20 they play Illinois and on 12/22 at Kansas.
-Tired Raiders….Wright State is playing their fourth game of a five games in 12 days stretch.
-Hang on what? For some unexplained reason Wright State plays Ohio State’s signature song, “Hang on Sloopy” and there are even some OSU fans at the Nutter Center that shout out O-H-I-O during the song. I asked the band director Ryan Taranyi why they would play that song at a WSU home game. He said they just always have but that come the January the WSU pep band will no longer play that Ohio State song. I think they have gotten a few complaints.
-Miami leads the series 15-8.
-Wright State’s next home game is Tuesday night at home against St. Bonaventure at 7 pm.
-Miami’s next game is Tuesday night at home against Chicago State at 7:30 pm.