Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Guard Hausfeld emerges as MU defensive threat


Has tough task against NIU's Smith

By Mark Schmetzer
Enquirer contributor

Miami's Josh Hausfeld played the best game in his two seasons Saturday, and it had little do with his slump-snapping 16 points or first dunk, RedHawks coach Charlie Coles said.

Coles was more impressed with the sophomore guard's defense in shutting down Southwest Missouri State's leading scorer, freshman Blake Ahearn.

Ahearn, who was averaging 11.1 points per game, was scoreless in 14 minutes, a key reason Miami hung on for a 75-66 non-conference win.

"This probably was the best game he's played at Miami," Coles said. "He took their best player out of the game."

Hausfeld, a Roger Bacon graduate, is building a reputation as a gritty defender on a par with senior teammate Juby Johnson, who won Miami's Richard Shrider Defensive Player of the Year Award last season.

Hausfeld's job on Ahearn followed a determined effort against Ohio senior Jaivon Harris last Wednesday. Harris scored a career-high 28 points in Miami's overtime win, but Hausfeld limited him to four points during a stretch in which the RedHawks turned a 10-point deficit into a nine-point lead during a 20-minute stretch that spanned halftime.

"(Harris is) a real good player," Hausfeld said. "He likes to come off screens, so I knew it was going to be a tough night . . . I just tried to contain him as much as I could."

Hausfeld, who has started every one of Miami's 23 games this season, will probably guard P.J. Smith in tonight's Mid-American Conference game at Northern Illinois. The 6-foot-4 Huskie senior guard scored a game-high 20 points in the RedHawks' home win over NIU last season, and he posted his first career double-double with 17 points and a career-high 10 rebounds in the Huskies loss to Bradley Saturday.

The Huskies are on a 10-game losing streak, and only Central Michigan's overall and conference records are worse.

Entering their last game of the season against a West Division team, the RedHawks have won five of their last six games, but remain three games behind Kent State in the East Division. Both teams have four games left, including a rematch at Kent State next Wednesday.

Miami also has a half-game lead over Toledo in the race for third place in the overall conference standings and its first-round MAC Tournament bye. The Rockets have three games left.

Miami at Northern Illinois

Tipoff: 8:05 p.m. today, Convocation Center (9,100), DeKalb, Ill..

Records: Miami 15-8 (10-4 Mid-American Conference), Northern Illinois 7-18 (2-12).

TV: None

Radio: WMOH-AM (1450).

Series: Miami leads 18-11

Line: Miami by 3.

MIAMI

PlayerYr.Ht.PPG
Chet MasonJr.6-410.5
Josh HausfeldSo.6-37.3
Juby JohnsonSr.6-515.7
Monty St. ClairFr.6-93.8
Gene SealsSr.6-65.2
or
Danny HoraceJr.6-69.9
Coach: Charlie Coles (135-101, eighth season; 227-185 overall).

NORTHERN ILLINOIS

PlayerYr.Ht.PPG
Rome SandersSo.6-86.0
Marcus SmallwoodSr.6-614.0
James HughesFr.6-115.5
P.J. SmithSr.6-413.9
A. MaestranziSo.5-107.0
Coach: Rob Judson (36-48, third season; same overall).

Player+Yr.+Ht.+PPG

Rome Sanders+So.+6-8+6.0

Marcus Smallwood+Sr.+6-6+14.0

James Hughes+Fr.+6-11+5.5

P.J. Smith+Sr.+6-4+13.9

Anthony Maestranzi+So.+5-10+7.0




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Women's hoops column: Bearcats winning despite loss of Merrill
Smith exhorts Wildcats
Guard Hausfeld emerges as MU defensive threat
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