MIAMI GAME NOTES
WESTERN MICHIGAN GAME NOTES
TUESDAY’S GAME: The RedHawks host conference opponent Western Michigan University this Tuesday, Feb. 7. This is Miami’s 24th game of the season, and tip time is set for 7:00 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 WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY: Dwayne Stephens is currently in his 1st season as the head coach of the Broncos. Coach Stephens graduated from Michigan State in 1993 and served as the associate head coach for the Spartans over the last decade. Prior to joining the Michigan State coaching staff, he spent time with Marquette and Oakland University as an assistant coach. Western Michigan University (WMU) is currently 6-17 and hold a 2-8 record in conference play. WMU most recently dropped to Buffalo 85-76. They currently have two players who average above double-digits in scoring, which includes guard Lamar Norman Jr. (18.1) and guard Tray Maddox Jr. (11.7). This year they are averaging 71.0 points per game and shoot 43.7% from the field. They have held their opponents to 73.5 points per game. The team also averages 13.2 assists and 38.2 rebounds in each game they play.
THE SERIES WITH THE BRONCOS: Miami and Western Michigan first faced off 83 years ago, dating back to 1940. This Tuesday, will mark the 137th meeting between both teams. In the series, Miami holds a 53-12 home record, 31-37 away record and 3-1 neutral site record.
UP NEXT: Join us Saturday, February 11 for the eighth annual Love.Honor.Care game presented by Western & Southern Financial Group! Love.Honor.Care is a Miami Athletics initiative to raise funds for local cancer support organizations. The day starts with Miami women’s basketball hosting conference rival Toledo at 1 p.m., followed by the Miami men’s team versus Central Michigan at 3:30 p.m. in the second game of the doubleheader.
OHIO RECAP: The Miami University men’s basketball team dropped a 78-68 decision against Ohio University on Saturday afternoon. Mekhi Lairy led the RedHawks (7-16, 1-9 MAC) with a game-high 24 points and three assists. Morgan Safford added an additional 18 points and five rebounds, while Ohio’s (12-11, 4-6 MAC) Jaylin Hunter had a team-high 23 points.
REDHAWK TRIO: This season the RedHawks have three of the top-20 scorers in the MAC. This consists of team captains Mekhi Lairy (17.7, 7th overall), Morgan Safford (15.8, 12th overall) and Anderson Mirambeaux (13.1, 19th overall). Combined, the trio scores 47 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 1,597 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: .868 (1st all-time)
• Games Played: 142 (2nd, 3 away from No. 1)
• 3-Point FG: 181 (8th, 5 away from No. 7)
• Assists: 409 (4th, 4 away from No. 3)
• Scoring: 1,597 (6th, 47 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 with 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 76.9%. Mekhi Lairy leads the way (91.9%), ranking fourth in the nation and first in the MAC. Anderson Mirambeaux ranks 12th in the MAC (77.6%) and Morgan Safford is currently listed at 16th in the MAC (72.0%).
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 .868 career free-throw percentage also ranks first. This season Lairy has went 91-99 from the free throw line. He has been perfect from the line in 15 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 6.8 points, 3.7 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 15.8 points, 6.2 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 13.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
COURTESY MIAMI ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS