CLEVELAND, Ohio—Morgan Safford led four RedHawks in double figures, but the Miami University men’s basketball team dropped a 91-75 decision to top-seeded Toledo in the MAC quarterfinals Thursday afternoon. Safford poured in a game-high 21 points, while Anderson Mirambeaux added 16 for Miami (12-20). Julian Lewis scored 13 points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds. Mekhi Lairy finished with 12 points in his 151st career game for the RedHawks. Toledo (26-6) won its 16th straight game and advances to Friday’s semifinal.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Rockets scored the first five points of the game before Ryan Mabrey responded with a three-point field goal. Mirambeaux kept Miami within three at 10-7 after making a layup and knocking down a pair of free throws. Toledo extended its lead to double digits at 23-12 after going on a 13-5 run. The Rockets led by as many as 15 in the first 10 minutes of play. A Lewis floater and Mirambeaux shot from beyond the arc brought Miami back within 10 points at 27-17.
- A pull-up jump shot from Lairy and driving layup from Safford cut the deficit to eight points at 37-29 with 3:43 to play in the first half, but the Rockets responded with an 11-2 spurt. Jaquel Morris ended the half with a buzzer-beating putback to make it 48-33 heading into intermission.
- Safford opened the second half with four consecutive free throws to stay in reach of Toledo. Despite a collection of layups from Mirambeaux, the Rockets maintained a 62-48 double-digit lead. Shortly after entering the game, Eli Yofan scored a driving jumper with 13:07 on the game clock. A combination of points from Lairy and Safford deterred the Rockets from stretching their lead further.
- Back-to-back three-point shots from Lewis and Yofan brought the score to 82-66 with 4:44 to play. Ultimately, Toledo went on to secure a 91-75 finish.
- Lewis and Bryson Tatum each recorded two steals.
- Lewis also matched his career high with two blocks.
- Six different RedHawks made a three-pointer in the contest.
- Miami shot 95.4% from the foul line as a team (21-22).
- The RedHawks’ season free throw percentage improved to 78.7% (447-568)
Miami concludes its stint in the MAC Tournament.
COURTESY MIAMI ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS