Miami RedHawks Travels to Arch-rival Ohio for Battle of the Bricks Game Saturday



BATTLE OF THE BRICKS: The RedHawks travel to take on rival opponent Ohio University this Saturday, Feb. 4. This is Miami’s 23rd game of the season, and tip time is set for 2:00 p.m. at the Convocation Center in Athens, 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 OHIO UNIVERSITY: Jeff Boals enters his 4th season as the head coach of the Bobcats. Under his guidance, Ohio made a return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nine years during the 2020-21 season. The Bobcats also won the MAC tournament in the same season against Buffalo. Coach Boals graduated from Ohio in 1995 and was a two-time captain while playing for the basketball team. Prior to joining the Bobcats, he spent three seasons as the head coach at Stony Brook. Ohio is currently 11-11 and hold a 3-6 record in conference play. The Bobcats most recently dropped to Eastern Michigan 90-79. They currently have four players who average above double-digits in scoring, which includes forward Dwight Wilson (15.8), guard Jaylin Hunter (11.0), guard AJ Brown (10.6) and guard Miles Brown (10.5). Combined, these four are scoring 48 of Ohio’s 78 points per game. This year their team is shooting 46.0 percent from the field. They have held their opponents to 73.8 points per game. The team also averages 13.3 assists and 38.1 rebounds in each game they play. 

THE SERIES WITH THE BOBCATS: Miami and Ohio first faced off 115 years ago, dating back to 1908. This Saturday, will mark the 212th meeting between both teams. In the series, Miami holds a 63-40 home record, 27-71 away record and 4-6 neutral site record. The Bobcats taken the last six games versus the RedHawks. The Red and White last defeated Ohio 79-59 in February of 2019. 

UP NEXT: Miami continues conference play by returning home to host Western Michigan University this Tuesday, Feb. 7. Tip time is set for 7:00 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio.

TOLEDO RECAP: The Miami University men’s basketball team fell in a conference game at Millett Hall against the University of Toledo Tuesday night by a score of 81-78. Morgan Safford poured in a team-high 25 points and game-high 11 rebounds for Miami (7-15, 1-8 MAC). Mekhi Lairy finished the night with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Anderson Mirambeaux put up 18 points. RayJ Dennis led the Rockets (16-6, 7-2 MAC) with 29 points.

REDHAWK TRIO: This season the RedHawks have three of the top-20 scorers in the MAC. This consists of team captains Mekhi Lairy (17.4, 7th overall), Morgan Safford (15.7, 12th overall) and Anderson Mirambeaux (13.3, 19th overall). Combined, the trio scores 46 of Miami’s 74 points per contest. 

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 1,573 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. 

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: .867 (1st all-time)
• Games Played: 141 (2nd, 4 away from No. 1)
• 3-Point FG: 179 (8th, 7 away from No. 7)
• Assists: 406 (4th, 7 away from No. 3)
• Scoring: 1,573 (6th, 71 away from No. 5)

SAFFORD SHOW: In his first year with Miami, Morgan Safford has already recorded over five 20-point games. Safford has also recorded the most double-doubles on the team this season at three total. So far he has set career-highs in points and rebounds. Despite dealing with an injury early in the season, he set what was his previous career-high 26-points against Jackson State to lead the RedHawks to a 95-78 win. 

LOCKED IN AT THE LINE: Miami University currently ranks 12th in the nation in free throw shooting percentage. As a team, the RedHawks are shooting 77.2%. Mekhi Lairy leads the way (91.8%), ranking seventh in the nation and second in the MAC. Anderson Mirambeaux ranks 12th in the MAC (77.2%) and Morgan Safford is currently listed at 16th in the MAC (73.6%).

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 .867 career free-throw percentage also ranks first. This season Lairy has went 89-97 from the free throw line. He has been perfect from the line in 14 of the 21 games where he has attempted a free-throw shot.

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.

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.

FRESH ON THE SCENE: This year the RedHawks boast five freshmen, three sophomores, three juniors, three seniors and a fifth-year senior.

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 6.9 points, 3.8 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 15.7 points, 6.3 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. This season Mirambeaux is averaging 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists.