Miami men at NIU Saturday at 4:30

ESPN3. This is the second game of a DH with their women. They have all kinds of promotions going on, and this is “Cram the Convo” day. NIU also has had their best road trip in years this week. On Tuesday they won at Ball State and Thursday they won at Akron for the first time since 2008. New coach Rashon Burno spent the last 5 years as Associate Head Coach for Arizona State and 3 years before that as an assistant at Florida. When we played them in Oxford, they dominated most of the game and had a 15 points lead pretty late in the 4th quarter, but we got hot and Dalonte Brown tied it with a 3 with 10 seconds to go, then won it with another 3 at the buzzer. Miami and NIU come into the game with identical 5-9 records, tied for the 8th and final spot for the MAC tournament, so a big game for both squads. Hopefully, playing their 3rd game in 5 days will be a factor.

NIU is 8-16 ( 5-9).They have very balanced scoring, but are led by sophomore guard Keshaun Williams at 12ppg and Sr guard Trendon Hankerson at 11ppg.

Miami is 11-14 ( 5-9). We are 10th in the nation in ft% and 12th in the nation in fewest turnover per game. Individually, Precious Ayah is first in the MAC in fg% at 64% and Mekhi Lairy is first in the MAC in ft% at 91%
Dae Dae Grant leads Miami with 17.1ppg and 3.9 assists pg. At 6-1, he has also been our leading rebounder over the last 8 games.

Dalonte Brown, who has not yet started moving like he did before his injury, continues to climb the Miami career records lists. He is first in games played, first in starts, sixth in 3’s, eighth in rebounds, and ninth in points. We need him to cut loose and have a big game like the 24 he had when we beat them in Oxford.

Thanks, Dick. We’ll probably be slight favorites in this one (I’m thinking -2.5). I hate to say it, but I’ll be surprised if we win.

We opened at -1, now -3.5. The ever-reliable ESPN predictor gives us a 57.7% chance to win. Let’s pick up a birdie!

There’s only one Convo in the MAC! I assume NIU isn’t urging OU students to attend their own game.

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Well if I recall…NIU was doing some damage inside…so Ayah, Beck, Dalonte and Eli gotta show up…then they had one guard that was hard to match…

Hopefully Damon is scouting teams at this point and maybe we can bring a game plan.

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Isn’t Eastern’s gym also called The Convo?

Miami actually has something to play and has been off since Tuesday and should have fresh legs for this game, while Northern Ill. just played Thursday and upset Akron. Miami should win here on the road and SHOULD cover their being a 3 1/2 point favorite.

I’ll say Miami 73-67

Miami up 11-7 at the first media TO. What a difference from Tuesday. Brown and Ayah have all 11 points.

Good ball movement so far. Also not just relying on three-point shots. Up four at the under 12

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Game looks as if being played at night.

19-15 Miami at the second media TO. Lairy just picked up 2 quick weak fouls and he will probably sit the rest of the half. Our subs have played most of the second 5 minutes.

21-19 NIU at the 8 and under TO. They are pressuring our outside game and taking away open threes.

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31-29 NIU at the 4 and under TO. Game is settling into a half court game, NIU has more of a post up presence, I think they are getting better looks than we are. Brown with 7 Ayah and Grant with 6. Avance has played a little better than ICL at the point.

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38-37 NIU with a minute to go. Best back to back plays by ELI in a long time.

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NIU misses the last shot of the half and it is 38-37 Northern at the half. Both teams are just over 50% shooting with few turnovers.

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Gamecast says Eli hit a 3!?

But do love NIUs gym…buy those seats they have…make some bench sections…renovate Millet

Get rid of carpet…

Ps their court is a bit freaky though

Our scoring is about as well distributed as can be. We have guys with 7,6,6,6,5,4, and 3.

At he first media TO, we are up 2.

There is no Dana, only Zool Kueth.