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RedHawks hope to end slide Friday vs. Akron

<p>Sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant (pictured, no. 3) hopes to lead the RedHawks to victory on national television.</p>

Sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant (pictured, no. 3) hopes to lead the RedHawks to victory on national television.

Coach Jack Owens and the Miami men's basketball team have the chance to end their two-game losing streak against the Akron Zips Friday at Millett Hall. The slide has seen them pick up just one victory since Jan. 26, putting their plus -.500 record in jeopardy. 

There are some positives to look at, as the team marches toward the conclusion of its 2020-21 campaign. 

Sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant has become the undisputed first option for the RedHawks, leading the way by averaging 13.7 points per game for a squad that has been pretty tame in the scoring department this season. Junior guard Mekhi Lairy and senior forward Dalonte Brown both average double-digit point totals, while Lairy leads the team in assists (3.5 per game) and Brown pulls down a team-high 6.7 rebounds.

Luckily for the RedHawks, they battle Akron at Millett Hall, which has become a quasi-fortress for the team this season. Miami has earned a 7-2 record in Oxford.

The RedHawks’ hopes of bouncing back will be at risk due to the strength of the Zips this year. Akron currently ranks second in the MAC with a record of 11-4 (9-3 MAC), while the RedHawks reside in seventh with an 8-7 record (5-5 MAC). 

They also will be tasked with controlling Loren Cristian Jackson, the Zips’ senior point guard who has averaged 21 points a night up until this point. The Chicago native has put the scoring load of the Zips on his back and has been one of the main reasons Akron is competing for a MAC title. 

On average, Miami has scored 71.7 points per game this season. Coincidentally, the RedHawks have given up 71.7 points to its opponents, too. Akron has averaged a margin of victory of 10 points this season. 

For the first time this season, the RedHawks will play a nationally televised home game. The contest, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, was moved to Friday night so it could air on ESPNU.

SCOUTING REPORT 

The Game 

Tipoff: 7:00 p.m. Friday at Millett Hall

TV: ESPNU

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Radio: Miami Radio Network 

MIAMI REDHAWKS 

Record: 8-7, 5-5 MAC 

Offense: 71.7 ppg 

Defense: 71.7 ppg 

PROJECTED LINEUP 

Player (position, height, key stat) 

Mekhi Lairy (guard, 5’8”, 12.5 ppg) 

Dae Dae Grant (guard, 6’2”, 13.7 ppg) 

Myja White (guard, 6’1”,  37.2% 3-pt fg) 

Dalonte Brown (forward, 6’7”, 12.0 ppg) 

Elijah McNamara (forward, 6’9”, 3.9 ppg) 

AKRON ZIPS 

Record: 11- 4, 9-3 MAC 

Offense: 78.4 ppg 

Defense: 68. 5 ppg 

PROJECTED LINEUP

Player (position, height, key stat) 

Loren Cristian Jackson (guard, 5’8”, 21.3 ppg) 

Bryan Trimble, Jr. (guard, 6’2”, 12.3 ppg) 

Maishe Dailey (guard, 6’7”, 6.7  ppg) 

Enrique Freeman (forward, 6’7”, 8.1 ppg) 

Ali Ali (forward, 6’8”, 7.2 ppg) 

muelle31@miamioh.edu

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