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Ohio University guard, Shereef Mitchell (4), fakes a layup and passes the ball around a Miami University player at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio, Feb. 3, 2024.

Men's Basketball: Ohio topples Miami for 119th time in storied rivalry

When the final buzzer sounded in The Convo, a total of 9,018 people were on their feet in celebration of Ohio’s 78-69 win over Miami, its 119th win in the storied “Battle of the Bricks” rivalry. 

From the start of the game, Ohio rode the energy of the crowd to jump out to a 39-32 halftime lead. 

The first half was highlighted by four consecutive 3-point buckets from junior AJ Clayton. 

On the day, Ohio shot an impressive 15-29 from 3-point range, which accounted for 45 of the team's final 78 points. 

“We knew we were going to get the shots; it might not have been on the first drive, it might have been on the second drive,” Ohio coach Jeff Boals said. “...When it starts going, it becomes contagious, and we hit some big-time shots down the stretch.” 

Entering halftime, Clayton led the team with 12 points, all coming by way of the 3-pointer. Overall, the team was shooting 60% from 3 and 54% from the field, entering the game's midway point. 

Coming out of the locker room with a 7-point lead, Ohio never allowed Miami to even tie the game back up. Ohio had a response anytime Miami went on any scoring run. 

“We always talk about bend but don’t break; when that adversity hits, you gotta stay together and stay positive,” Boals said. “...That’s where that veteran leadership comes in, and that’s where practice and game planning comes in.”

A defining stretch of the second half was when senior Jaylin Hunter and Shereef Hunter combined for 9 straight points on three possessions, all resulting in a made 3-point jumper. By this point in the game, Miami had cut its deficit to two scores, and Ohio needed to put life back into the crowd. 

“My teammates having confidence in me when I wasn’t making shots earlier in the game just to tell me to keep shooting meant a lot,” Hunter said. 

When Mitchell’s 3-pointer fell, the crowd played all the difference in closing out the game for Ohio. After Miami answered with a 3-pointer of its own, Hunter led the Bobcat offense down the court to record a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions, ending Miami’s hopes of a late comeback. 

The two seniors led the way in the second half, Hunter with 14 second-half points and Mitchell with 11. 

“It’s Miami; I mean, it’s easy to get hyped up for one of these types of games,” Hunter said. “...This being my last year, I want to go out the right way and obviously take steps towards that every game.”

This was Mitchell's first time competing in the Miami vs Ohio rivalry.

“Coach talked about (the rivalry) during practice; I really didn’t understand how big of a rivalry this is until I actually got into the game and got the feel of it,” Mitchell said. “It was amazing; it was a great game.” 

In the end, Ohio’s starting 5 is what propelled the team to victory. To go along with Clayton’s impressive first half from the 3-point line and Mitchell and Hunter’s late-game heroics, senior Miles Brown played a great game all around, leading the team with 8 rebounds to go along with 12 points. 

“Miles Brown knows better than anybody; he’s been involved a lot longer than anybody,” Boals said. “He’s (Miles Brown) 7-1 in this rivalry game, Jaylin Hunter is now 2-1, and Shereef (Mitchell)  is 1-0. We passed out a sheet a couple of days ago, the history of what this rivalry is…These guys get it.”

Ohio will take on Miami one more time this season in Oxford, where Ohio will be looking to gain a season sweep.


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