Miami RedHawks Host NAIA- memeber St. Mary-of-the-Woods Pomeroys Thursday at 7 p.m.


THURSDAY’S GAME: The RedHawks host NAIA opponent Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College on Thursday, Dec. 29. This is Miami’s 13th game of the season, and tip time is set for 7 p.m. at Millett Hall in Oxford, Ohio. Fans can tune in on ESPN+ 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 ST. MARY-OF-THE-WOODS: Head coach Michael Hunter enters his first season with the Pomeroys after taking over the program on May 16, 2022. Most recently, coach Hunter served as the head coach for Lakeland Community College. He led Lakeland to the OCCAC Conference Championship, Region XII, Championship, and National Tournament. Coach Hunter previously spent time as an associate head coach at Shawnee State University from 2017-19. Before that, he was an assistant coach with Urbana University, Goshen College, and Heidelberg. Guard/forward Keith Germain (15.5), guard Tarik Dixon (14.9), and guard/forward J.R. Lumsden (10.0) lead them in scoring. 

THE SERIES WITH THE POMEROYS: This Thursday will mark the first all-time meeting between Miami and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. 

UP NEXT: Miami starts conference play against Central Michigan Tuesday, Jan. 3. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

WRIGHT STATE RECAP: The Miami University men’s basketball team lost a non-conference game at Millett Hall against Wright State University Thursday night by a score of 88-80. Mekhi Lairy led the RedHawks (5-7) with 32 points and added three assists. Morgan Safford scored 14 points and also had six rebounds. Trey Calvin led the Raiders (7-6) with 27 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 83.2%. Mekhi Lairy leads the way, ranking fourth in the nation and first in the MAC. Anderson Mirambeaux finds himself ranked 75th nationally and fourth 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 1,414 career points. He is in 12th place on the program’s all-time list after passing Julian Mavunga, Wayne Embry, David Scott, and Tim Pollitz versus Wright State. Lairy also surpassed Randy Ayers on the career assists list to take the ninth spot all-time against Calumet College. 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). In the past two games, Lairy as recorded back-to-back 30-point performances. 

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 60-64 from the free throw line. 

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: Since returning from injury, Morgan Safford has started in every game he’s played. In the last seven games he has averaged 15.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. In his second game back from injury, he set a new 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 10.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.8 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 14.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 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 12.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists.