Sunday, February 15, 1998
Miami gets effort but not points

The Cincinnati Enquirer

AKRON - Miami coach Charlie Coles was pleased with the effort.

''I'd give us an A-minus,'' Coles said.

What that says is now - with two weeks left in the season - Akron is a better basketball team than Miami, even with Wally Szczerbiak. The Zips proved that Saturday when they beat Miami 74-63 before a crowd of 4,106 at Rhodes Arena.

Akron (14-9, 10-5 in the Mid-American Conference) swept the season series from Miami for the first time.

''Akron can hurt you so many ways,'' Coles said. ''They're good enough to win the conference tournament, if they get to a neutral court.''

Miami (12-11, 6-9), on the other hand, once again must worry about getting to the MAC Tournament.

Marshall (10-11, 6-8) beat Ohio U. 72-63 to climb into seventh place in the conference, a half-game ahead of Bowling Green and Miami. The top eight teams qualify for the tournament.

Miami has three games remaining: at Ohio U. on Wednesday, then home against Marshall (Feb. 21) and BGSU (Feb. 25).

Saturday's loss to Akron followed the usual Miami theme: A lot of Damon Frierson and Szczerbiak; too little of everyone else. Frierson and Szczerbiak, who combined from only 19 points in Wednesday's loss to Kent, had 25 and 22, respectively.

Anthony Taylor added nine points for MU. No one else scored more than four, and Miami got only four points from its bench.

Akron got much better balance: Jimmal Ball had 19 points, Ryan Andrick 17, Scott Gooden 14 and George Phillips 10.

That was key because Frierson forced Akron's leading scorer, Jami Bosley, into an awful offensive game. Bosley, who was coming off a 40-point effort against BGSU, had eight points on 2-of-10 shooting and seven turnovers. It was the first time Bosley, an Ohio State transfer, did not hit double figures in his 18-game Akron career.

''It doesn't mean a whole lot when Damon and Wally play well, and we don't win,'' Coles said.

Akron led 32-30 at halftime and took the lead for good when Phillips hit a three-pointer with 18:51 to play to make the score 35-33.

It was still a two-point game at 45-43 with 11:34 to play, but the Zips made an 8-1 run to go ahead 53-44 with 7:53 to play.

Miami, however, kept pushing.

''The effort was there,'' Coles said. ''I wish we had this kind of effort every night. But with our kids you never know.''

Miami cut the lead to 55-51 on a layup by Frierson with 5:56 remaining. Then came the critical sequence of the game.

Ball made a three-pointer at the 4:33 mark and as the ball went through the hoop, Miami's Mike Ensminger was charged with a foul. Andrick made two free throws to complete a five-point play that made the score 60-51.

Miami never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

MIAMI (63) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Szczerbiak 31 9-18 2-2 0-6 2 2 22 Estick 23 0-3 3-4 3-4 2 5 3 Ensminger 27 0-1 0-0 1-3 0 3 0 Taylor 39 3-7 2-2 0-1 5 0 9 Frierson 34 8-15 9-10 1-2 2 5 25 Lackaff 7 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 Chapman 1 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 Allendorf 17 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 Lethunya 21 2-4 0-0 2-6 0 4 4 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 22-49 16-18 7-24 12 24 63 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.449, FT-.889. 3-Point Goals: 3-13, .231 (Szczerbiak 2-7, Estick 0-3, Taylor 1-1, Frierson 0-2). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 3 (Szczerbiak, Estick, Allendorf). Turnovers: 11 (Frierson 3, Estick 2, Taylor 2, Chapman, Ensminger, Lackaff, Szczerbiak). Steals: 3 (Taylor 2, Szczerbiak).

AKRON (74) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Phillips 36 3-7 3-6 3-6 0 2 10 Andrick 31 4-6 9-11 3-8 1 2 17 Weinkein 22 3-5 0-0 1-3 0 4 6 Ball 32 7-13 2-2 0-2 4 1 19 Bosley 37 2-10 3-6 1-5 7 3 8 Gooden 21 3-5 6-7 0-0 1 1 14 Moore 20 0-2 0-0 2-4 2 0 0 Zollner 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 22-48 23-32 10-28 15 13 74 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.458, FT-.719. 3-Point Goals: 7-15, .467 (Phillips 1-2, Ball 3-7, Bosley 1-4, Gooden 2-2). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 2 (Phillips, Ball). Turnovers: 11 (Bosley 6, Gooden 2, Moore, Phillips). Steals: 5 (Bosley 3, Gooden, Moore). __________________________________ Miami 30 33 - 63 Akron 32 42 - 74 __________________________________ Technical fouls: None. A: 4,106. Officials: Mike Foote, Mike Mckee, Richard Byrum.

Miami game coverage

Kent 58, Miami 52 Feb. 12, 1998
Miami 74, Northern Illinois 71 Feb. 8, 1998
Miami 73, Ball State 67 Feb. 6, 1998
Eastern Michigan 71, Miami 67 Feb. 1, 1998
Toledo 63, Miami 50 Jan. 30, 1998
Miami 73, Ohio 58 Jan. 25, 1998
Miami 71, Marshall 54 Jan. 22, 1998
Kent 66, Miami 65 Jan. 18, 1998
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