Men and women’s basketball drop home openers


Photo by Scott Kissell, Miami University

Miami’s womens’ basketball team discusses gameplay on the bench.

By Sam Belkowitz

The Miami RedHawks hosted back-to-back basketball season openers Nov. 7 in Millett Hall. Both the men’s and women’s games ended in defeat, but individual athletes saw moments of success.

The women’s team played competitively against Xavier University until the Xavier Musketeers swept a close game into a 15-point lead in the third quarter, ultimately ending in a 19-point deficit for the RedHawks. The final score was 87-68. Sophomore guard Maddi Cluse scored 24 points, setting a career-high.

The men’s team, debuting Head Coach Travis Steele, nearly tied Evansville close to the final buzzer, following a 19-5 lead early in the game. The Purple Aces secured the 78-74 win at the free-throw line as time withered.

“I thought we were a little tight early on offensively… but I thought as the game wore on our offense kind of warmed up,” Steele said following the game. “But our defense is going to be the key this year. We just got to be better on our defenses, but our guys play hard.”

Four of the men’s team’s five starters played their first Miami game Monday night.  Anderson Mirambeaux, a senior forward who transferred from Cleveland State last year, had a rough first half, scoring only 5 points. However, a strong second-half effort adding 22 points was not enough to reel the RedHawks toward a win.

Despite a loss for the team, Miami’s new coach said the focus is to begin the process of restoring Miami’s long-gone glory. 

“This place has so much tradition. We’re going to get it back to what it used to be,” Steele said. “Just understand, it’s not going to happen in one night, but we’re going to do this over these years.”

Steele said he took a photo of the sparsely filled arena during the opening game so he will be able to compare it to attendance in future years. For the men’s game, 2,018 seats were filled in an arena seating 6,400.