Sunday, December 14, 1997
Syracuse too much for Miami

The Cincinnati Enquirer

miami
Syracuse's John Hart dishes off as he leaps past Miami's Anthony Taylor (21) and John Estick (31).
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Charlie Coles said before the season that he didn't worry about his team's record in the pre-conference schedule. So he's not worried that Saturday's 72-53 loss to Syracuse in the championship game of the Carrier Classic dropped the RedHawks to 6-2 on the season.

He is, however, not happy about the way Miami played versus 7-0 Syracuse.

''We've got three road games ahead,'' Coles said. ''We've got to find a way to get well.''

Miami has a 15-day break from competition before opening the Mid-American Conference schedule at Bowling Green Dec. 29. The BG game is followed by road games at Central Michigan (Jan. 3) and Western Michigan (Jan. 5). That's followed by home games against league favorites Eastern Michigan and Toledo.

''That concerns me,'' Coles said.

Particularly after the way Miami played against Syracuse. Miami hung with Syracuse for a half, but the bigger, stronger Orangemen wore the RedHawks down in the second half.

The Orange blew the game open with a 17-2 run in the second half. That took the lead from 44-35 with 14:23 to go to 61-37 with 8:24 to go. ''We squandered some opportunities,'' Coles said. ''We were restless. We missed some easy shots.''

Miami hit only 37 percent from the field for the game. The RedHawks, who came in hitting 52.9 percent from three-point range, were 6-of-21 (28.5 percent).

Miami only scored 18 points in the second half, and it was easy to see why. Wally Szczberiak, who was averaging 28.7 points per game, was held to 6-of-18 shooting and scored just 16 points. Anthony Taylor, who scored 27 points in Miami's first-round victory over La Salle, had just nine points and Damon Frierson added 11 - 10 points below his season average.

Refiloe Lethunya had nine points; no other Miami player had more than four.

Szczerbiak was forced into his worst shooting night of the year. He hit 4-of-11 from the three-point land.

Frierson was 1-for-5 from three range. He did have eight assists. Taylor had six assists and no turnovers.

''Damon's confidence was down for the second straight game,'' Coles said. ''I was glad to see him make a couple at the end.

''I told the coaches when we were way down that we may not win this game but we've got to get back to what we were doing.''

Coles wasn't any happier with the RedHawks' defense.

''We did a decent job in the first half,'' he said. ''But we got away from that in the second half. They shot 57 percent. That really hurt us.''

Coles was most disappointed in Miami's lack of fire.

''Our intensity was nowhere near what it has been,'' Coles said. ''We hung our heads a little. That's the first time we've done that. We could have made a little better game.''

Odd stat of the game: The teams combined to shoot only nine free throws (Miami three, Syracuse six) and they made all nine.

Ryan Blackwell, who led Syracuse with 21 points, was named the tourney Most Valuable Player.

   Miami        m fg at ft at  r  a  f to  tp
   Estick      22  0  1  2  2  3  0  1  4   2 
   Szczerbiak  37  6 18  0  0  5  1  2  3  16 
   Ensminger   31  1  4  0  0  4  1  2  0   2
   Taylor      39  4 11  0  0  2  6  0  0   9 
   Frierson    39  5 14  0  0  4  8  4  3  11 
   Alexander    4  0  1  0  0  0  1  0  0   0 
   Lackaff      1  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0   0 
   Lethunya    14  3  6  1  1  4  0  2  1   9 
   Locklier    11  2  3  0  0  0  0  0  1   4 
   Allendorf    2  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0   2 
   Totals     200 22 59  3  3 29 17 11 12  53 
   Team Rebounds- 0.
    
   Syracuse     m fg at ft at  r  a  f to  tp 
   Burgan      38  5 13  0  0  7  5  2  0  11 
   Blackwell   39  8 10  4  4  6  1  1  0  21 
   Thomas      30  6  8  1  1  6  1  2  2  13 
   Hart        38  4 11  0  0  3  9  2  3  10 
   Janulis     34  3  5  0  0  5  3  1  4   8 
   Howard       7  2  4  1  1  1  0  0  0   5 
   Griffin      2  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0   0 
   Brown        1  0  1  0  0  1  0  1  0   0 
   Ovcina      10  2  4  0  0  3  2  2  2   4 
   Frazier      1  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0   0 
   Totals     200 30 57  6  6 35 21 11 11  72 
   Team Rebounds- 0.
   Miami       25  28 - 53
   Syracuse    31  41 - 72 
 
Attendance-21,257. 3-point goals-Miami (6-21) Szczerbiak 4-11, Taylor 1-3, Frierson 1-5, Alexander 0-1, Lackaff 0-1; Syracuse (6-12) Burgan 1-4, Blackwell 1-1, Hart 2-3, Janulis 2-2, Ovcina 0-2. Technicals- None.

Miami game coverage

Miami 71, LaSalle 66 Dec. 13, 1997
Miami 80, Xavier 72 Dec. 10, 1997
Miami 85, Virginia Commonwealth 75 Dec. 7, 1997
Miami 102, IUPUI 75 Dec. 2, 1997
Miami 66, Wisconsin-Green Bay 46 Nov. 26, 1997
Miami 94, Dayton 86 Nov. 23, 1997
Tennessee 75, Miami 74 Nov. 18, 1997