SATURDAY’S GAME: The RedHawks prepare for conference opponent Bowling Green this Saturday, Jan. 21. This is Miami’s 19th game of the season, and tip time is set for 5:00 p.m. at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio. Fans can tune in on ESPN3 or by listening to one of Miami’s game day radio affiliates which consists of WFMG-FM 101.3 (Richmond, Ind.), WMOH-AM 1450 (Hamilton, Ohio), and WONE-AM 980 (Dayton, Ohio).
ABOUT BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY: Michael Huger enters his eighth season as the head coach of the Falcons. Prior to becoming a head coach, he spent four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Miami and four seeasons at George Mason University. Bowling Green is currently 8-10 and hold a 2-3 record in conference play. The Falcons most recently dropped 100-71 to the University at Buffalo. Guard Leon Ayers III (17.7), Guard Samari Curtis (11.8), guard Kaden Metheny (11.3), and forward Rashaun Agee (11.2) currently lead the team in scoring.
THE SERIES WITH THE FALCONS: Miami and Bowling Green first faced off over 78 years ago, dating back to 1944. This Satuday, will mark the 149th meeting between both teams. The RedHawks hold a 51-18 home record, 33-39 away record, and 5-2 neutral site record when facing the Falcons.
UP NEXT: Miami continues conference play by traveling to the University of Akron this Tuesday, Jan. 24. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. in Akron, Ohio.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS RECAP:Morgan Safford scored a career-high 27 points and added 10 rebounds, but Northern Illinois hung on to edge Miami 81-77 Tuesday night at Millett Hall. Anderson Mirambeaux put up 18 points for the RedHawks (7-11, 1-4 MAC), while Mekhi Lairy scored 15 and went over 1,500 for his career. David Coit had 21 points to lead four double-figure scorers for the Huskies (6-12, 2-3 MAC).
LOCKED IN AT THE LINE: Miami University currently ranks fifth in the nation in free throw shooting percentage. As a team, the RedHawks are shooting 79.6%. Mekhi Lairy leads the way (92.0%), ranking ninth in the nation and second in the MAC. Anderson Mirambeaux ranks sixth in the MAC (83.1%) and Morgan Safford is currently listed at 17th in the MAC (76.4%).
UP NEXT: Miami continues conference play by traveling to The University of Akron this Tuesday, Jan. 24. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. in Akron, Ohio.
REDHAWK TRIO: The RedHawks have three of the top-21 scorers in the MAC, highlighted by Mekhi Lairy (17.3, 8th), Morgan Safford (15.1, 12th) and Anderson Mirambeaux (13.2, 21st). Combined, the trio scores 46 of Miami’s 75 points per contest.
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 1,503 career points. He is in 8th place on the program’s all-time scoring list after passing Landon Hackim (1993-96) and Archie Aldridge (1976-78) against Northern Illinois. Lairy also climbed into the top five in program history in career assists with 389, moving past Darrian Ringo (2017-19) and Phil Lumpkin (1972-74). 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). He has also recorded two other 30-point scoring performances this season against Wright State and Bellarmine.
STAND AND DELIVER: One of the most efficient free throw shooters in the conference, fifth-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 .866 career free-throw percentage also ranks first. Mekhi has started the 2022-23 season 80-87 from the free throw line. This year Mekhi has been perfect from the line in 12 of the 18 games where he has attempted a free-throw shot.
CHART CLIMBER: Fifth year guard Mekhi Lairy is climbing several Miami career top 10 lists and continues to climb the points scored list. Here is where he stands entering
Miami’s next game:
• Free Throw Percentage: .866 (1st all-time)
• Games Played: 137 (2nd, 8 away from No. 1)
• 3-Point FG: 172 (9th, 5 away from No. 8)
• Assists: 389 (5th, 2 away from No. 4)
• Scoring: 1,503 (8th, 12 away from No. 7)
MABREY MAGIC: After returning to the starting lineup versus Bellarmine, Ryan Mabrey knocked down the biggest shot of his collegiate career. With 18 seconds left in the game, Mabrey scored the game clenching three-point shot to take a 69-65 lead over Bellarmine. This propelled the RedHawks to their first road victory of the season.
SAFFORDS RETURN: In his second game back from injury, he set what was his previous career-high 26-points against Jackson State to lead the RedHawks to a 95-78 win.
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. Against Calumet College, the RedHawks shot a season-high 59.3% from beyond the arc.
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.
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 8.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.7 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. This season Safford has averaged 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
Anderson Mirambeaux is a 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 13.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists.
COURTESY MIAMI ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS