Sunday, February 28, 1999

MIAMI 69, BALL STATE 43


Frierson steals game for RedHawks

BY JOHN FAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[szczerbiak]
Wally Szczerbiak, icing his sore knee, cheers his teammates in the final minute.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
        OXFORD — Miami had all but lost the home-court advantage Saturday when Damon Frierson stole it back.

        Miami, the top seed in Mid-American Conference Tournament, was leading eighth-seeded Ball State by one, when Frierson stole the ball on four consecutive possessions — three of the steals led to fastbreak points — and Miami was off and running to a 69-43 victory over the Cardinals before a 8,436 at Millett Hall.

        Frierson ended the game with a team-record tying seven steals.

        “That's phenomenal,” Miami coach Charlie Coles said. “I really thought he had eight, but he got called for a foul on one.”

MAC TOURNEY
Quarterfinals
Miami 69, Ball State 43
Kent 79, Marshall 76
Ohio 70, Toledo 60
Bowling Green 80, Akron 74
Tuesday's semifinals
at Toledo
Miami vs. Bowling Green, 6:30p.m.
Kent vs. Ohio, 9 p.m. Wednesday
Finals, 6:30 p.m.
        All seven came in the second half when Miami outscored Ball State 47-21 and held the Cards without a field goal for a stretch of more than 15 minutes.

        Ball State shot 14 percent (3-of-21) in the half. And two of the made shots came in the 2:01 when BSU built a 29-24 lead.

        “Then Miami turned up the pressure on defense,” BSU coach Ray McCallum said. “They were like a machine.”

        Miami (21-6) moves on to play Bowling Green in the MAC semifinals Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Toledo.

[frierson]
Damon Frierson, right, had seven steals.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
        Wally Szczerbiak, playing on a sore right knee, led Miami with 25 points and nine rebounds. John Estick had 14 points and eight rebounds. Frierson added 11 points.

        Szczerbiak, Estick and Frierson are the team's three seniors playing in the their final game at Millett.

        “This is the time of year you need your seniors to play well,” Coles said. “All three of ours — don't slight John Estick — really are playing well.”

        But, on a day when defense ruled, Frierson's steals were the difference. Twenty-six of Miami's 63 points came off of Ball State turnovers.

        “They were throwing a lot of soft passes,” he said. “I had a height advantage over their guards, so I just backed off.”

[szczerbiak]
Szczerbiak scores on a tip-in.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
        Frierson was 1-for-5 in the first half and had as many turnovers (two) as points. But Frierson's value does not dip just because his shot is not falling.

        “Damon's just a good player,” Coles said. “He could play anywhere because of his all-around game. He never let's how many shots he's getting affect him.”

        His seven steals matched the record shared by Ron Harper (1984) and Chuck Goodyear (1976) After the first steal, Frierson found Jason Stewart on the break for a layup. The next one Frierson took all the way himself. The third led to a Stewart three-pointer.

        Miami suddenly led 38-30. Ball State had no idea of how to score again.

        Frierson's final steal came with about four minutes left. He passed it to Stewart, who got it back to Frierson, who dunked. Frierson then did something he almost never does on the court: Smile. MIAMI NOTEBOOK

Defense thrills Miami's Coles Tim Sullivan column


BALL ST (43)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Mason           35  2-12   4-4   2-7  0  1    8
Johnson         22   1-2   3-4   3-4  1  0    5
Jackson         31   2-4   2-4   1-4  1  4    8
Clemens         39  5-16   4-6   1-3  0  4   16
Hosier          36   0-4   0-0   0-4  3  1    0
Davis            8   2-3   0-0   0-1  0  0    4
Murray           4   0-2   2-2   2-2  0  0    2
Franks           1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Moodie           2   0-2   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Jones           22   0-1   0-0   1-3  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 12-46 15-20 10-29  5 10   43
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.261, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals:
4-16, .250 (Mason 0-4, Jackson 2-3, Clemens 2-4,
Hosier 0-3, Moodie 0-2). Team rebounds: 2.
Blocked shots: 3 (Jones 3). Turnovers: 18
(Jackson 5, Davis 4, Clemens 3, Jones 3, Hosier
2, Johnson). Steals: 6 (Clemens 2, Mason 2,
Hosier, Jackson).


MIAMI OHIO (69)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Estick          28  7-10   0-0   4-8  0  3   14
Szczerbiak      36 12-23   1-1   3-9  2  3   25
Mestas          33   1-3   0-0   1-4  3  2    3
Taylor          16   1-2   0-1   0-1  1  3    2
Frierson        38  5-12   1-2   0-0  2  3   11
Grunkemeyer     10   0-0   0-0   0-2  2  1    0
Ross             1   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Stewart         20   3-4   0-0   0-2  1  1    8
Shine            1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Helmers          2   2-2   0-0   0-1  0  0    6
Locklier         2   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Allendorf        2   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Ensminger       11   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  2    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 31-57   2-4  8-29 11 19   69
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.544, FT-.500. 3-Point Goals:
5-17, .294 (Szczerbiak 0-5, Mestas 1-2, Taylor
0-1, Frierson 0-4, Stewart 2-3, Helmers 2-2).
Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 3 (Szczerbiak,
Allendorf, Stewart). Turnovers: 12 (Szczerbiak 3,
Estick 2, Frierson 2, Mestas 2, Helmers, Stewart,
Taylor). Steals: 11 (Frierson 7, Mestas 2,
Estick, Szczerbiak).
__________________________________
Ball St            22   21  -   43
Miami Ohio         22   47  -   69
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 8,436. Officials: Norm
Nelson, Michael Smith, Kyle Ingram.


Sports Stories
Graves is closer of future
Kentucky fighting for tournament seed
- MIAMI 69, BALL STATE 43
OHIO BOYS SWIMMING
OHIO GIRLS SWIMMING
KENTUCKY SWIMMING
Ohio boys basketball scores
Ohio girls basketball scores
Indiana girls basketball scores
Ky. boys basketball scores
Ky. girls basketball scores
CINCINNATI BOYS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP
N.KY. GIRLS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP
Big second quarter lifts Conner to title
DISTRICT WRESTLING
LAS VEGAS 4, CYCLONES 2
MIGHTY DUCKS 3, SPRINGFIELD 2
Momma Ducks call up Leclerc

UC 89, MEMPHIS 64
UC NOTEBOOK
GEORGE WASHINGTON 77, XAVIER 74
XAVIER NOTEBOOK
Must Reds' owners be local?
Reds sport deep bench
REDS NOTEBOOK