DAYTON - In the past two years the Miami-Wright State games have been decided by a total of two points resulting in two Raider wins. This year the anticipated tight game never materialized as Miami's defense frustrated Wright State to win 55-37 in front of 5517 fans.
Wright State's defense was good holding Miami to just 37.5 (18-48) from the field, but Miami's defense was incredible locking down the Raiders to 26.5 just percent (13-49) from the field.
"This is the best we have played all year. Collectively this was our best team effort, we had good team defense," said a relieved Miami coach Charlie Coles. "It helped us tonight that they are not shooting the ball the way they want to. I think it will come, it just wasn't there tonight."
Wright State (0-3) has been out-shot and out-rebounded in all three of their losses. They are a team that has lost their confidence and aggressiveness on offense
Wright State coach Brad Brownell is still looking for the right combination of post players after graduating last year's two post players. "We were thoroughly outplayed in all facets of the game. They guarded us well, they made more plays than us tonight," explained Brownell. "We were thoroughly outplayed in all facets of the game. Miami did a good job of defending us and when we did get an open look we didn't make it."
The game started with Miami's Michael Bramos hitting a 3-pointer which started Miami on a roll that held until Wright State's John David Gardner hit a foul shot to put the Raiders up by one at 13-12.
Miami (2-2) quickly went on a 13-3 run to close out the half up 25-16.
Coming out in the second half Wright State's Ronnie Thomas hit a jumper to close the deficit to seven points at 25-18 and that is as close as the Raiders got in the second half.
The Miami coaches told their team that they had to out-hustle the Raiders this year and not let it come down to the last shot for a third year in a row.
Coles said, "Last year we got the lead and we just stopped playing offense. This year we wanted to make sure, I told the teams forget about the win or loss, just play harder than they play. Last year they beat us to all kind of loose balls."
Kenny Hayes echoed his coach, "Our main goal was to out-hustle them, we didn't want it to come down to the last shot "
Hayes led all scorers with 20 points and Bramos had 19 points.
Miami out-rebounded the Raiders 42-26.
-Coles reached 300 wins when Miami beat Weber State 70-66 on Wednesday. In his 19th year as head coach, he owns a 301-241 record. Coles is 209-157 at Miami and is nine wins away from breaking the all-time wins mark. He needs just 12 MAC wins to break the all-time career record.
-The Miami Connection....all four RedHawk coaches hold degrees from Miami. I will spare you listing each degree and the year they graduated.
-In addition to area rivals Wright State and Xavier, Miami also will head over to University of Dayton on January 6th.
-The next game for Miami is on Saturday at Xavier at 4:30 p.m.
-Next up for Wright State is Saturday at Sam Houston State at 8 p.m.