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2016-17 MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: Northern Kentucky Norsemen vs. Miami RedHawks

Miami drops the first game in New Rivalry Week as it falls to NKU 79-70.

NCAA Basketball: Florida Atlantic at Miami (OH) Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami RedHawks lost the first game in its NEW RIVALRY with the Northern Kentucky Norsemen 79-70 Sunday in Oxford. The freshman phenom Michael Weathers carried Miami with 31 points, five rebounds and two assists, but the rest of the team was horrendous on the offensive end with 26.3% shooting from three-point range, five assists and 14 turnovers in the game. Northern Kentucky had a pair of 20+ point scorers in Lavone Holland II and Drew McDonald, and dominated the defensive glass with 30 defensive rebounds.

After getting off to an early 6-0 lead thanks to a couple of buckets by Weathers, NKU immediately went on a 9-2 run and kept battling with the hosts throughout the first half. The Norsemen took control late with a 10-0 run to take a 30-24 lead with 3:15 left in the half and carried a 34-28 lead into halftime.

As per usual, Weathers got off to a great start with 10 points, a rebound, and an assist in the half while NKU’s Lavone Holland II had 12 points and Drew McDonald accounted for eight points and five boards. The ‘Hawks struggled mightily in the first 20 minutes with two offensive rebounds, three assists, and nine turnovers as Northern Kentucky dominated the boards 19-12.

Miami kept pace with the Norsemen in the second half but simply couldn’t muster up the offense to retake the lead. The home team leaned on its defense with its offense being as stagnant as it was, and it come up big with seven blocks and 15 turnovers forced in the game while holding NKU to 45.3% shooting from the field. The free throw discrepancy hurt the ‘Hawks as it went 17-24 from the line while Northern Kentucky hit 22-29 while committing the same amount of personal fouls that Miami did (23).

Despite the loss, RedHawk fans can enjoy this highlight of throwing it down in the second half as the team doesn’t take the court again until Friday when it takes on Western Illinois at 3:30 p.m.