WEDNESDAY’S GAME: The RedHawks visit local rival University of Cincinnati Wednesday, Dec. 14. This is Miami’s tenth game of the season and tip time is set for 7 p.m. at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
ABOUT CINCINNATI: Head coach Wes Miller enters his second season with the Bearcats after taking over the program in April of 2021. Coach Miller is a former student-athlete of North Carolina. This includes the 2005 team that made it to the national championship. He previously spent time as an assistant and then head coach for University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG). As the head coach, he won 185 games in 10 seasons. Prior to UNCG, coach Miller was an assistant at Elon and High Point. Guard David DeJulius (16.7), guard Landers Nolley II (14.7), and forward Viktor Lakhin (11.9) lead the Bearcats in scoring.
THE SERIES WITH THE BEARCATS: This Wednesday will mark the 149th all-time meeting between Miami and Cincinnati. The last time each team faced each other was on Dec. 1, 2021. The RedHawks fell 58-59 in a home game at Millett Hall. The Red and White are 34-34 at home, while their away record stands at 18-61.
UP NEXT: Miami travels to take on Bellarmine at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17.
CALUMET COLLEGE RECAP: The Miami University men’s basketball team defeated Calumet College 85-49 Sunday afternoon at Millett Hall. Morgan Safford led the RedHawks (4-5) with 17 points, while Anderson Mirambeaux and Mekhi Lairy added 15 points each. Billy Smith chipped in 13 as well. Noel Mpie led the Crimson Wave (1-8) with 11 points.
LOCKED IN AT THE LINE: Miami University currently ranks second in the nation in free throw shooting percentage. As a team, the RedHawks are shooting 82.7%. Mekhi Lairy leads the way, ranking fourth in the nation and first in the MAC. Anderson Mirambeaux finds himself ranked 19th nationally and second in the MAC.
MEKHI LAIRY: Among the returners is fifth-year senior Mekhi Lairy, who set Miami’s single-season free-throw percentage record a year ago and currently holds the career free-throw percentage record. Lairy, who averaged 13.6 ppg in 2021-22, posted his 1,000th career point last season and is on pace to break Miami’s career games played record this season. Lairy now has 1,317 career points. He is in 16th place on the program’s all-time list after passing Craig Tubbs versus Indiana State. Lairy also surpassed Ron Harper on the career assists list to take the 10th spot all-time against Jackson State. This season against Georgia, Lairy set a new career-high in points (34) and produced the first 30-point game for a RedHawk since Mar. 9, 2020 (Nike Sibande, 31).
STAND AND DELIVER: One of the most efficient free throw shooters in the conference, 5th year senior guard Mekhi Lairy ranked first in the MAC in free-throw percentage in the 2021-22 season. Lairy hit 29 consecutive free throws from Nov. 27 through Jan. 29. He was perfect from the free-throw line in 18 of the 25 games where he attempted a free-throw shot. His .915 (2021-22) free throw percentage ranks first on Miami’s single-season list and his .862 career free-throw percentage also ranks first. Mekhi has started the 2022-23 season 38-40 from the free throw line.
SHOWING OUT: Against Jackson State, six RedHawks put up double-figures in scoring for the first time since Nov. 23, 2021. This included Morgan Safford (26), Ryan Mabrey (15), Billy Smith (14), Julian Lewis (13), Anderson Mirambeaux (12), and Mekhi Lairy (11). Overall, Miami shot 60% (33-55) from the field. The Red and White also shot 50% (14-28) from the three-point line. Each shooting percentage was the most for a RedHawk team since Nov. 13, 2021. Most recently against Calumet College, the RedHawks shot a season-high 59.3% from beyond the arc.
NEW FACES, NEW PLACES: Two RedHawks recorded double-doubles in Miami’s first win of the season versus Goshen College. Sophomore transfer Julian Lewis made his season debut, tying his career-high of 17 points and setting a new career-high of 10 rebounds. Freshman Billy Smith recorded 11 points, 12 rebounds, six steals, and four assists. This year the RedHawks boast five freshmen, three sophomores, three juniors, three seniors, and a fifth year senior.
INCOMING TALENT: Julian Lewis is a guard from William & Mary where he averaged 7.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. He recorded a career-high of 17 points versus Delaware and a career-high of eight assists against Valparaiso. As a freshman, Lewis was named to the CAA All-Rookie Team. This season Lewis has averaged 12.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.
Morgan Safford is a guard from Wofford College. During his tenure he averaged 7.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. He recorded his previous career-high 21 points versus Coastal Carolina as a redshirt freshman. During his first campaign, Safford was named to the 2020-2021 Southern Conference All-Freshman Team. He was named a captain at the beginning of the season for the RedHawks. Safford set a new career-high 26 points against Jackson State in his third game of the season. This season Safford has averaged 14.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
Anderson Mirambeaux is a center/forward from Cleveland State University. While attending he averaged 1.5 pts, 1.7 rebounds, and 0.7 assists with the Vikings. Prior to Cleveland State, Mirambeaux attended Trinity Valley Community College. At TVCC he averaged 13.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. He was named a captain at the beginning of the season for the RedHawks. In Anderson Mirambeaux’s first game with Miami, he set a career-high 27 points. In the game versus Jackson State, he also set a career-high in assists with seven. Up to this point, Mirambeaux is averaging 13.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
DEFENSIVE STAND: In the second game of the season against Goshen College, Miami forced 27 turnovers. This is the most for a RedHawk opponent since Nov. 17, 2015 (Kenyon, 24 turnovers). Miami recorded 18 steals (second highest in program history), led by freshman Billy Smith with six total.
COURTESY MIAMI ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
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