MIAMI GAME NOTES
NIU GAME NOTES
SATURDAY’S GAME: The RedHawks travel to conference opponent Northern Illinois University this Saturday, Feb. 18. This is Miami’s 27th game of the season, and tip time is set for 4:30 p.m. (EST) at the Convocation Center in DeKalb, Ill. 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 NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY: Rashon Burno enters his second season as the head coach of the Huskies. Prior to becoming a head coach, he spent five seasons as an associate head coach at Arizona State. Northern Illinois is currently 11-15 and hold a 7-6 record in conference play. The Huskies most recently dropped 87-77 to Ball State. Guard David Coit (15.9) and guard Zarique Nutter (11.9) currently lead the team in scoring. This year their team is averaging 71.9 points per game on 45.7 percent shooting and have held their opponents to 75.0 points per game. The team also averages 12.1 assists and 33.0 rebounds in each game they play.
THE SERIES WITH THE HUSKIES: Miami and Northern Illinois first faced off over 53 years ago, dating back to 1969. This Saturday, will mark the 55th meeting between both teams. The RedHawks hold a 24-5 home record and 10-15 away record when facing the Huskies. Miami heads into this match on a two game losing streak after falling 81-77 to Northern Illinois earlier in the year.
UP NEXT: Miami continues conference play by returning home to face off with Bowling Green this Tuesday, Feb. 21. Tip time is set for 7:00 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio.
TOLEDO RECAP:Mekhi Lairy and Anderson Mirambeaux each recorded 12 points to lead the RedHawks in scoring, but the Miami University men’s basketball team fell to Toledo 89-71 Tuesday evening. Mirambeaux also added a game-high six assists and six rebounds, while Ryan Mabrey added 11 points for the RedHawks (8-18, 2-11 MAC). Setric Millner Jr. led the Rockets (20-6, 11-2 MAC) with 19 points.
3. REDHAWK TRIO: This season the RedHawks have three of the top-20 scorers in the MAC. This consists of team captains Mekhi Lairy (17.6, 5th overall), Morgan Safford (15.6, 13th overall) and Anderson Mirambeaux (13.5, 18th 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 1,648 career points. He is in 5th place on the program’s all-time scoring list after passing Damon Frierson (1996-99) against Toledo on Feb. 14. In the same game, Lairy surpassed Jamie Mercurio (1989-92) to move into the number three spot 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: .871 (1st all-time)
• Games Played: 145 (tied for 1st all-time)
• 3-Point FG: 186 (7th, 1 away from No. 6)
• Assists: 417 (3rd, 21 away from No. 2)
• Scoring: 1,648 (5th, 31 away from No. 4)
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, rebounds and assists. 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.
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 .871 career free-throw percentage also ranks first. This season Lairy has went 105-114 from the free throw line. He has been perfect from the line in 17 of the 24 games where he has attempted a free-throw shot.
ACTION JACKSON: Senior walk-on Jackson Kenyon has made a strong impact in the final stretch of the season. Most recently, he recorded career-highs in points (4), assists (2) and minutes played (9:34) against Toledo. Kenyon also helped Miami top Western Michigan on Feb. 7, coming off the bench in the second half to provide a career-high four rebounds in four minutes and spark a game-clinching run.
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 6.2 points, 3.3 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 15.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 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 13.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
WHAT MAKES ANDERSON MIRAMBEAUX UNIQUE: In its 2022-23 season opener, Miami Men’s Basketball started a post player who averaged all of 1.5 points per game last year with Cleveland State University. Anderson Mirambeaux, a 6-foot-8, 305-pound senior, had never played more than 15 minutes in a Division I basketball game before transferring to join the RedHawks. In his debut wearing the Red and White against Evansville on November 7, Mirambeaux dominated. Mirambeaux’s career night might have come as a shock to nearly every person in Millett Hall that evening, but associate head coach Rob Summers wasn’t surprised at all by Mirambeaux’s 27-point outburst. Summers, who had worked with Mirambeaux at CSU last season before joining Travis Steele‘s new staff in Oxford, understood what the big man was capable of. For more on the story, check out his Front Row Feature!
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. Mabrey has four older siblings, and they all played college basketball. Between them, they have made more than 1,000 career three-pointers (and counting). For more background on Mabrey, check out his Front Row Feature!
COURTESY MIAMI ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS