OXFORD, Ohio—Morgan Safford put up a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, but a valiant effort from the Miami University men’s basketball team came up just short in a 69-66 loss to Kent State Saturday afternoon at Millett Hall. Mekhi Lairy led the RedHawks (6-9, 0-2 MAC) with 17 points, while Anderson Mirambeaux (13 points) and Ryan Mabrey (10) also finished in double figures. Sincere Carry had 31 points to lead Kent State (12-3, 2-0 MAC) to its sixth straight victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Lairy made his presence felt at the offensive end early, hitting a three-pointer and drawing a shooting foul behind the arc to convert three free throws on consecutive possessions to make it 8-8. Miami went on to take a 21-17 lead midway through the half after a three-pointer by Kamari Williams and a driving layup by Mabrey.
- In a tight opening stanza, neither side led by more than four points and the two teams combined for 10 lead changes in the opening 20 minutes. Safford finished the period with 10 points to lead the RedHawks’ offense as Kent State took a slim 32-31 advantage into the locker room.
- Mabrey buried his second three-pointer of the half with 14:19 remaining to put Miami up 39-38, as the teams continued to exchange the lead. The RedHawks stretched the score out to 53-47 at the next-to-last media timeout after a Safford three-point play, Jaquel Morris layup, and Williams triple. However, the visitors answered back with six straight points to pull even again.
- A highlight-reel behind-the-back assist from Mirambeaux to Mabrey made it 60-59 with 2:30 left, but Carry responded with a three-pointer to give KSU a two-possession lead and Miami was unable to get any closer than the final score down the stretch.
- Safford’s 11 rebounds was a career-high.
- Miami outrebounded the visitors 35-32.
- Mabrey blocked the first shot of his career.
COURTESY MIAMI ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS