OXFORD, OH - Carl Richburg scored a career-high 14 points while stepping in for injured point guard Kenny Hayes Tuesday as the Miami RedHawks defeated visiting Wisconsin-Milwaukee 69-45.
Miami's Carl Richburg had a career night against UW-M / Photo: Mike Smith
Nobody was playing any better than Kenny Hayes, said Miami coach Charlie Coles, who gave Richburg official notice of his pending start about an hour before game time. Kenny hurt (his wrist) Monday, and we thought he could play by Thursday. Today he tried to shoot, and it was painful for him.
While Coles' notice may have been late, Richberg had already taken note of Hayes injured wrist during practices leading up to Thursdays game. Richburg was determined to be ready. I figured that if I didnt start, I might (still) play major minutes. Ill just try to get mentally and physically focused, he said. With Kenny going down, we knew we all had to step up. Were on a mission as a team.
|Miami center Tyler Dierkers draws triple coverage in the paint.
Photo: Mike Smith
Richburg responded to his call by making five of eight shots from the field on the way to 14 total points. Three layups by the senior midway through the first half helped Miami move from an 11-10 deficit to a 16-13 advantage. The RedHawks never trailed after that point. Richburg also dished our four assists and committed just two turnovers in 28 minutes.
Thats great (to have an experienced fill in), and its even greater when you (also) have a freshman that is pretty good. That gives you two guys you can throw in there, Coles said.
Also helping to fill Hayes shoes at point guard Thursday was freshman Kramer Soderberg. He scored seven points while logging 16 minutes of action.
I thought the guys that played the guard position tonight played very, very well, said Coles, who saw his club commit less than 10 turnovers for the third straight game.
I was worried about losing Kenny for the game, because Kenny is a terrific player and a tough competitor . He had been our emotional leader, Coles said. The RedHawks mentor, now in his 13th season at the Miami helm, said he isnt sure when Hayes will be back in a lineup that was already missing redshirt sophomore guard/forward Antonio Ballard.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, now 5-3, held the lead five times while hanging with Miami during the early going. But as the RedHawks defense stiffened, Wisconsin-Milwaukee fell behind by double digits.
Miami, shot 43.8 percent from the field in the first half and connected on five of eight three-point attempts. The Panthers, meanwhile, hit just one of nine trey attempts while shooting an overall 28 percent from the field before intermission.
Miamis Michael Bramos had 15 points in the first half and netted a game-high 26 for the evening. That gives him a team-leading 19.3 ppg. average through eight games. He was once again especially hot from behind the arc, hitting six of eight against the Panthers. That raised his three-point percentage for the season to .509.
Miamis victory its second in two home tilts - was its third straight win. The RedHawks will try to make it four in a row Saturday when Valparaiso comes to Millett Hall for a 4 p.m. contest. It will be the second meeting between the two teams. Valparaiso edged Miami 99-94 in overtime last year in an ESPN Bracket Buster game.