Sunday, November 23, 1997
Szczerbiak shoots up Dayton
Senior scores 13 of his 41 in 2nd OT

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Miami's Wally Szczerbiak shoots over Dayton's Coby Turner.
(AP photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Wally Szczerbiak just did what he was told.

''I've always been told to not to press - to let the game come to me,'' he said.

The game - in this case Miami-Dayton Saturday night - came to Szczerbiak in a flurry of soft threes in double overtime.

Szczerbiak scored a career-high 41 points - 13 in the second overtime - to lift Miami over Dayton 94-86 at UD Arena.

Szczerbiak hit 10 of 12 shots in the second half, including all five threes he took.

''Let's face it,'' MU coach Charlie Coles said, ''He can shoot.''

Szczerbiak's 41 - the sixth-highest total in MU history - came after he scored a previous career-high 31 in the opener against Tennessee.

Miami's other star - Damon Frierson - had 24 points.

Frierson and Szczerbiak combined for the last 11 points of regulation to wipe out a 10-point Flyer lead.

Frierson sent it to overtime with an off-balance ''Hail Mary'' three as the clock expired in regulation. ''I was looking at the clock. I sort of leaned in.''

Szczerbiak sent it to the second OT with short jumper.

But Szczerbiak saved the best for double OT. After UD went up 83-80, he made back-to-back-to-back threes to clinch it.

Dayton had five players in double figures; freshman Tony Stanley led with 24. Ryan Perryman had 18 points and 19 rebounds.

But the Flyers had no answer for Miami's big two in crunch time.

''I go up to Damon before every game and say, 'This is our time,' '' Szczerbiak said. ''We embrace that.''

Said Frierson: ''When I saw Wally my freshman year, I said he was the best shooter I've ever seen. Last year, it Devin Davis' and Ira Newble's team. Now it's ours.''

Miami has beaten Dayton eight straight times. The last time either team went to double overtime was against each other in the 1993-94 season. Saturday's game was as good as any in the 115-game series.

Both teams had lost their openers, so both viewed the game as a mini-must-win situation. The sloppy play early reflected that, but once the teams settled down it turned into a game fitting the rivalry. Both teams played with plenty of emotion.

UD's strategy was to keep the ball out of Szczerbiak's hands. It worked for long stretches.

''Coby Turner did a great job on me,'' Szczerbiak said. ''I went a long time without even getting a look. He was holding me, pushing me.''

But Szczerbiak and Frierson were patient.

''I think they got a little tired on defense,'' Szczerbiak said.

Coles inserted Rob Mestas, who missed the Tennessee game because of soreness in his surgically repaired right knee, seven minutes into the second half and left him in.

Mestas, the returning point guard, gave MU stability.

''We need him,'' Szczerbiak said. ''Damon and I can score, but you need a point guard to run it.''


MIAMI (1-1) - Estick 4-5 0-1 8, Szczerbiak 13-19 10-10 41, Locklier 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor 4-14 1-2 10, Frierson 11-19 0-1 24, Mestas 0-1 0-0 0, Lethunya 3-4 0-0 6, Allendorf 0-0 0-0 0, Ensminger 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 37-66 11-14 93.

DAYTON (0-2) - Perryman 6-13 6-14 18, Turner 4-9 2-2 12, Ashman 6-12 5-8 17, Stanley 7-17 7-9 24, Young 4-5 2-6 11, Metzler 2-5 0-0 4, Cooper 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-62 22-39 86.

Halftime-Miami 33, Dayton 33. 3-point goals-Miami 8-18 (Szczrbiak 5-8, Taylor 1-3, Frierson 2-6, Mestas 0-1), Dayton 6-15 (Perryman 0-1, Turner 2-2, Stanley 3-9, Young 1-1, Metzler 0-2). Fouled out-Estick, Taylor, Lethunya. Rebounds-Miami 37 (Szczrbiak 7), Dayton 38 (Perryman 19). Assists-Miami 15 (Frierson 6), Dayton 17 (Young 6). Total fouls-Miami 30, Dayton 14. A-11,824.