MIAMI GAME NOTES
EASTERN MICHIGAN GAME NOTES
SATURDAY’S GAME: The RedHawks prepare for conference opponent Easter Michigan this Saturday, Jan. 28. This is Miami’s 21st game of the season, and tip time is set for 3:30 p.m. at Millett Hall in Oxford, 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 EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY: Stan Heath enters his second season as the head coach of the Eagles. He was a three-year letter winner for Eastern Michigan University (EMU) from 1985-87. Prior to joining the Eagles in April of 2021, he spent four seasons as the head coach of the Lakeland Magic (NBA G League). Coach Heath has also served as a head coach for Kent State, Arkansas and South Florida. Eastern Michigan is currently 4-16 and hold a 1-6 record in conference play. The Eagles most recently fell to Toledo 63-55. Guard Emoni Bates (20.5), guard Noah Farrakhan (12.9) and guard Tyson Acuff (12.4) currently lead the team in scoring. Emoni Bates is coming off one of the most prolific scoring outbursts in college basketball this season. Bates scored 43 points on 15-of-23 shooting and went 9-of-14 from beyond the arc. He is one of only 15 other players that have topped 40+ points this year and he is the only sophomore to do so. This year EMU is averaging 72.3 points per game on 43.1 percent shooting and have held their opponents to 81.8 points per game. The team also averages 9.5 assists and 31.8 rebounds in each game they play.
THE SERIES WITH THE EAGLES: Miami and Eastern Michigan first faced off almost 48 years ago, dating back to 1975. This Saturday, will mark the 82nd meeting between both teams. The RedHawks hold a 30-7 home record, 21-17 away record and 2-4 neutral site record when facing the Eagles.
COACHES VS. CANCER SUITS AND SNEAKERS WEEK: This week Miami is participating in a nationwide event that unites basketball coaches across the country for a common cause – saving lives from cancer. Coaches from across the nation wear sneakers with their suits during games to raise awareness, helping to save lives by raising funds and encouraging people to educate themselves about cancer prevention, screening and early detection.
UP NEXT: Miami continues conference play at home against the University of Toledo this Tuesday, Jan. 31. Tip time is set for 7:00 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio.
AKRON RECAP: In the 20th game of the season, Miami (7-13, 1-6 MAC) lost to Akron (14-6, 6-1 MAC) 73-68 Tuesday night at James A. Rhodes Arena. Mekhi Lairy led the RedHawks in scoring with 16 points and Morgan Safford added another 13 points. Anderson Mirambeaux also recorded 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Xavier Castaneda led the Zips with 32 points.
REDHAWK TRIO: This season the RedHawks have three of the top-20 scorers in the MAC. This consists of team captains Mekhi Lairy (17.2, 8th), Morgan Safford (15.3, 14th) and Anderson Mirambeaux (13.4, 20th). Combined, the trio scores 46 of Miami’s 74 points per contest.
LOCKED IN AT THE LINE: Miami University currently ranks ninth in the nation in free throw shooting percentage. As a team, the RedHawks are shooting 78.3%. Mekhi Lairy leads the way (91.4%), ranking 10th in the nation and third in the MAC. Anderson Mirambeaux ranks 14th in the MAC (78.7%) and Morgan Safford is currently listed at 18th in the MAC (75.8%).
LAIRY LEGEND: 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 1,534 career points. He is in 6th place on the program’s all-time scoring list after passing Dalonte Brown (2018-2022) against Akron. Against Bowling Green, Lairy climbed past Quinten Rollins (2011-14) to move into the top four in career assists. 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. This season Lairy has went 85-93 from the free throw line. He has been perfect from the line in 13 of the 20 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: 139 (2nd, 6 away from No. 1)
• 3-Point FG: 174 (9th, 3 away from No. 8)
• Assists: 399 (4th, 14 away from No. 3)
• Scoring: 1,534 (6th, 110 away from No. 5)
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.
FRESH ON THE SCENE: 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 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.5 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 15.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 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. This season Mirambeaux is averaging 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
COURTESY MIAMI ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS