Wednesday, March 5, 1997
Miami struggles past Kent
Redskins trailed by nine at halftime

BY ANDY RESNICK
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Miami
Kent's Scott Effretz shoots against Miami defenders Ira Newble (3) and Damon Frierson.
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OXFORD - One down and two to go for an NCAA tournament berth.

The Miami Redskins weren't at the top of their game Tuesday night, but they rallied to beat Kent 75-65 in the Mid-American Conference tournament quarterfinals at Millett Hall.

It was charging Miami's sixth straight victory and 18th in a row at home. The second-seeded Redskins (19-8, 14-5 in the MAC) will play sixth-seeded Western Michigan (14-13, 10-9 MAC) in Friday's Tournament semifinal, 6 p.m. in Toledo's SeaGate Center.

The Redskins caught a break when the Broncos upset third-seeded Ohio 74-68 Tuesday in Athens, Ohio.

A victory over Western, which Miami swept this season, would put the Redskins into Saturday's MAC title game with a chance to win the conference's automatic NCAA bid.

Miami trailed by nine points at halftime before getting it together.

''You've got to give a lot of credit to our players, because to be down at nine, it was almost like being down by 18,'' Miami coach Charlie Coles said. ''To come back, it was about as good as a first game as you could have in the first round.''

Miami survived a 24-point onslaught by Kent (9-18) forward D.J. Bosse.

Bosse, a senior from Colerain High, connected on 7-of-10 three-pointers. In his previous two games against Miami this season, he scored just 18 points.

''We were losing Bosse,'' Coles said. ''They ran some nice screens to get him open.''

''A lot of praise goes to Kent,'' Coles said. ''Their game plan was superb. They played to our weaknesses.''

Bosse ripped four three-pointers and scored 15 points in the first half. MU limited him to nine in the second half and countered with inside action.

Ira Newble scored a career-high 25 points and Devin Davis added 18. The senior duo, playing in their last game at Millett, combined for 33 second-half points.

''We couldn't stop them on the defensive end,'' said Kent coach Gary Waters. ''I thought our game plan was holding fast, (but) they turned up their intensity.''

Yet the second half remained close throughout.

The Redskins failed to take the lead for good until 4:08 remaining when Wally Szczerbiak hit a three-pointer following a Kent shot clock violation.

Waters believed Szczerbiak's three-pointer was just one of the many baskets Miami tallied in the second half which resulted from Kent's breakdown defensively.

''I knew starting the second half it was a defensive thing,'' Waters said. ''We just didn't react quick enough. That brought us a step down.''

The Redskins, who trailed 37-28 at halftime, opened the second half on a 9-0 run. Newble scored twice during the run, including a quick layup on the second half inbounds play and a fastbreak layup following a Damon Freirson steal. Davis scored the other five points in the run, including a three-point play, as Miami tied the game at 37.

Kent held the lead through most of the first half.

Leading 23-22 with 5:41 to go in the the first half, Kent kept the Miami offense on the perimeter, effectively denying all entry passes to the post. The Redskins shot just 10 of 23 from the field in the first half.

Meanwhile, Bosse stayed active, hitting three-pointers on the next two possessions, propelling Kent to a 31-22 lead.

Davis seemed most effected by the Kent ball pressure, missing all four of his field-goal attempts. When the guards did get him the ball, the Flashes constantly double teamed.

However Miami was able to stay close due to Davis' foul shooting. The 72 percent season shooter hit seven of eight in the first half.

MU women win

Jennifer Wenclewicz's steal and layup with 2 seconds left in regulation broke a 52-52 tie as the Miami women's basketball team defeated Ohio in Tuesday night's Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinal.

The 54-52 win propels the Redskins into Thursday's 8 p.m. semifinal at Toledo's SeaGate Center.

Wenclewicz, a senior co-captian, finished with 13 points. On Miami's final possession she took the ball from the top of the key and forced a 10-footer at the baseline. OU grabbed the rebound, but Wenclewicz stole the outlet pass.

''I'm not really sure what happened,'' Wenclewicz said. ''It was one-on-one all the way. I crashed the boards, the ball came back to me and it went in.''

SULLIVAN COLUMN

Tournament stories

HOT REDSKINS HOPE TO BEAT KENT THIRD TIME March 4, 1997

KENT (65)
fg ft rb
min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp
Robertson 26 4-9 0-0 1-4 1 4 8
Vaughn 14 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Bright 20 3-6 4-4 1-4 0 5 10
Norvell 36 3-9 4-4 1-5 6 4 10
Effertz 38 4-9 1-2 0-2 5 5 10
Glenn 30 0-4 1-3 0-4 3 1 1
Bakken 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Whorton 4 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 2
Bosse 31 8-12 1-2 0-0 0 2 24
_______________________________________________
TOTALS 200 23-50 11-15 3-19 15 23 65
_______________________________________________
<P>
Percentages: FG-.460, FT-.733. 3-Point Goals:
8-17, .471 (Norvell 0-3, Effertz 1-3, Glenn 0-1,
Bosse 7-10). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots:
None. Turnovers: 11 (Norvell 5, Bright 4, Bosse,
Vaughn). Steals: 3 (Robertson 2, Glenn).
<P>
MIAMI (75)
fg ft rb
min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp
Davis 40 4-10 9-11 4-11 5 2 18
Szczerbiak 39 6-9 0-0 1-5 2 3 15
Newble 31 10-12 5-7 1-4 1 4 25
Mestas 27 2-3 0-0 0-2 2 1 4
Frierson 35 3-8 4-4 0-4 8 2 11
Taylor 2 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2
Henderson 26 0-3 0-1 0-3 3 0 0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS 200 26-46 18-23 6-29 21 12 75
_______________________________________________
<P>
Percentages: FG-.565, FT-.783. 3-Point Goals:
5-13, .385 (Davis 1-3, Szczerbiak 3-4, Mestas
0-1, Frierson 1-3, Henderson 0-2). Team rebounds:
2. Blocked shots: 2 (Davis, Frierson). Turnovers:
12 (Frierson 4, Davis 3, Mestas 3, Henderson,
Szczerbiak). Steals: 6 (Davis 4, Henderson,
Szczerbiak).
__________________________________
Kent 37 28 - 65
Miami 28 47 - 75
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None. A: 4,064. Officials: Tom
Grzywinski, Dan Fouser, George Demos.