Thursday, February 08, 2001

Miami 67, Kent State 63

First home loss for MAC East leader

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Miami University coach Charlie Coles was uncharacteristically critical of his players following Saturday's 67-63 home overtime loss to Bowling Green. He must have gotten their attention.

        Miami bounced back Wednesday night on the road, knocking off Mid-American Conference East Division leader Kent State 48-45.

        “I think they (the players) did respond (to his criticism),” said Miami coach Charlie Coles. “I explained to them Monday. I said you guys are working too hard ... too hard to not finish these games. You deserve better.”

        The RedHawks finished strong Wednesday, making six straight free throws to clinch the victory.

        Kent State led 43-42 when Miami sophomore point guard Matt Jameson made two free throws to give the RedHawks a 44-43 lead with 37 seconds left.

        With 19 seconds left, Miami's Mike Ensminger made two more free throws for a 46-43 lead. After a Kent layup cut the lead to 46-45, Miami's Alex Shorts was fouled with nine seconds left.

        Shorts made both free throws for a 48-45 lead, and Kent never got off a good shot.

        The loss was the first at home this season for Kent, which had won its first eight home games and entered the game 34-2 at home the past three seasons.

        Miami improved to 11-12, 7-5 in the MAC and remained in the hunt for a first-round home game in the MAC tournament. The division winners and the team with the next best overall record get first-round byes, while the next five teams earn home games.

        Other than Kent and West leader Central Michigan, every MAC team has at least four losses.

        Shorts led Miami with 21 points and 12 rebounds while Ensminger had 10 rebounds. Overall, Miami outrebounded Kent 40-24.

        “We really got on the boards,” said Coles.

        Miami faces another difficult road test Sunday when the RedHawks visit Ball State (11-8, 6-4).


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