“They corralled Nike,” Owens said. “They had two guys in front of him all the time. That’s when other guys have to step up. Isaiah Coleman-Lands is a good shooter. You’re not going to see him for 0-for-5.”
“A lot of the shots that we missed are shots that we normally knock down,” Brown said. “It wasn’t their defense. It just wasn’t our night.”
NKU (6-3) outscored Miami, 38-16, in the paint without benefit of a dunk. That advantage was the Norse’s exact margin of victory. Senior forward Dantez Walton led both teams with 32 points, one off his season high.
The outcome left Miami 0-3 against Horizon League teams this season, including two losses to Wright State.
The losing margin was the RedHawks’ widest since their 80-51 loss to Akron in last season’s Mid-American Conference tournament.
The RedHawks are scheduled to return to the court on Saturday when they play at Evansville against a Purple Aces team that upset then-No. 1 Kentucky at Rupp Arena earlier this season. They are off for exams until Dec. 15 when they welcome Mississippi Valley State to Millett Hall for a 2 p.m. game.
Senior forward Bam Bowman, who normally wears uniform No.14, wore 45 after his regular jersey failed to make it back from Miami’s pre-Thanksgiving trip to Florida.
Lairy left the game with 2:14 left in the first half with an apparent left leg injury, but he returned to play almost as minutes in the second half as he did in the first, finishing with 25:24.
“It’s the thing that’s been a problem for the last 2-3 weeks – guys coming up with little injuries,” Owens said. “We have to get through this. We haven’t been a able to practice with everybody yet.”
Walton scored the first seven points of a 21-4 NKU run that turned a two-point Norse lead into a 54-35 bulge with just more than eight minutes left in the game. NKU’s largest lead was 23 points with 4:09 left in the game.
Brown scored 13 points while Miami was setting a season-low for points in a half with 22, allowing the Norse to lead by as many as eight points before settling for a seven-point halftime lead. The RedHawks were outrebounded, 24-14, leading to NKU’s 12-0 lead in first half second-chance points. Sibande went just 1-for-4 from the field and scored three points before halftime.