Sunday, January 18, 1998
MAC have-nots continue to have
their way with Miami

The Cincinnati Enquirer

KENT, Ohio - Damon Frierson got a lot more help Saturday, but not enough.

In the end, Miami's chances came down to Frierson alone. And, when he missed a 16-footer with :02 left, the RedHawks had lost their third straight game, 66-65 to Kent before 1,812 at the MAC Center.

Frierson, who is Miami's top offensive threat in the absence of injured star Wally Szczerbiak, had 17 points.

Kent took its first lead of the final 12 minutes on Ed Norvell's lay-up and free throw with 12 seconds left.

''That's a tough loss for us right now,'' Miami coach Charlie Coles said. ''It's tough because I think our effort was top flight.''

This one slipped away. Miami went on a 10-2 run to take a 59-50 lead with 5:15 to go.

Eight straight points from Nate Meers cut the lead to one at 59-58 a minute and 38 second later.

''We stopped moving,'' Coles said. ''Why did we stop moving? It's not because we're tired. That's a cop-out.''

A Frierson jumper put Miami back up three, 64-61, with 58 seconds left.

After Kent cut it to one, the Flashes were forced to foul. They sent Frierson, a career .817 free throw shooter, to the line. He missed the first and made the second.

That set up Norvell's three-point play.

''We told everyone to spread it out, and for him to drive to the basket,'' Kent coach Kent Waters said. ''We wanted a foul to stop the clock. Not only did he get the foul line, he made the basket. You can't complain about that.''

Miami fell to 8-7 overall and 2-5 in the Mid-American Conference. The RedHawks are 1-4 since Szczerbiak fractured his shooting wrist Jan. 3.

Kent is 7-11 and 4-4. The Flashes are 7-1 at home.

Kent, like a lot of second-division MAC schools, is taking advantage while Miami is down. The RedHawks had beaten Kent eight straight times and 15 of the last 16.

Frierson was one of four Miami players to score in double figures, with Anthony Taylor emerging from his scoring slump to lead the RedHawks with 18 points.

Taylor hit all three of his shots from three-point range.

Taylor did have seven turnovers, as Miami turned it over 20 times. ''I felt the key plays of the game were when we had an opportunity to score and something went wrong,'' Coles said. ''We traveled or charged. Our kids have to learn to pick the ball up and throw it.''

Refiloe Lethunya had 11 points, and John Estick had 10 points and 12 rebounds for MU.

The RedHawks, who are dressing just six scholarship players these days, got only three points from their bench.

The loss left the RedHawks tied for 10th place in the MAC. Only the top eight qualify for the postseason MAC tournament.

It will be at least two weeks before Szczerbiak returns.

''We're playing better, that's the good news,'' Coles said.

MIAMI (65) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Estick 40 4-9 2-5 6-12 2 2 10 Ensminger 40 3-6 0-0 1-5 2 3 6 Lethunya 30 4-9 2-5 3-5 2 3 11 Taylor 40 4-7 7-8 0-4 4 4 18 Frierson 40 4-13 9-11 2-3 2 2 17 Lackaff 9 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 3 Smith 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 20-47 20-29 12-29 12 14 65 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.426, FT-.690. 3-Point Goals: 5-10, .500 (Lethunya 1-2, Taylor 3-3, Frierson 0-3, Lackaff 1-2). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 1 (Estick). Turnovers: 20 (Taylor 7, Frierson 4, Estick 3, Ensminger 2, Lethunya 2, Lackaff, Smith). Steals: 9 (Estick 3, Taylor 2, Ensminger, Frierson, Lackaff, Lethunya).

KENT (66) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Massey 25 4-12 0-0 0-5 1 2 8 Perry 34 2-6 2-2 1-1 1 3 6 Whorten 33 5-9 1-4 2-7 1 3 11 Norvell 26 2-5 1-1 0-1 6 4 5 Effertz 30 4-7 0-0 1-3 6 5 9 Davis 11 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 3 Moore 8 1-3 0-0 1-1 0 0 2 Callaway 11 0-0 0-0 1-2 1 2 0 Vaughn 9 2-4 0-0 2-4 0 2 4 Meers 13 6-8 1-2 1-2 1 3 18 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 27-56 5-9 9-26 18 24 66 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.482, FT-.556. 3-Point Goals: 7-15, .467 (Massey 0-2, Norvell 0-2, Effertz 1-1, Davis 1-2, Moore 0-1, Meers 5-7). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 2 (Massey, Whorten). Turnovers: 18 (Norvell 5, Massey 3, Perry 3, Callaway 2, Effertz 2, Meers 2, Whorten). Steals: 3 (Massey, Perry, Whorten). __________________________________ Miami 32 33 - 65 Kent 30 36 - 66 __________________________________ Technical fouls: Miami Ohio 1 (Estick). A: 1,812. Officials: Eugene Crawford, Terry Wymer, Jim Czocher.

Miami game coverage

Akron 64, Miami 51 Jan. 15, 1998
Toledo 76, Miami 56 Jan. 11, 1998
Miami 72, Eastern Michigan 64 Jan. 9, 1998
Western Michigan 63, Miami 47 Jan. 6, 1998
Miami 81, Central Michigan 65 Jan. 4, 1998
Bowling Green 72, Miami 59 Dec. 30, 1997
Syracuse 72, Miami 53 Dec. 14, 1997
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