Sunday, February 18, 2001

Akron 58, Miami 55


RedHawks blows chance to win at end

By Ryan Waldheger
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        AKRON — Falling to Akron for the second time this season, the Miami RedHawks weren't short of one thing: opportunities.

        Despite shooting 39 percent from the field and 54 percent from the line Saturday, Miami held the ball with 30 seconds remaining and the ball in the hands of its leading scorer, Alex Shorts, trailing by just one.

        But Miami couldn't convert. The result was 58-55 loss and the end to MU's season-high three-game winning streak.

        As the clock wound down, Shorts took one dribble and sent a shot that bounced off the rim and seemed headed for teammate Mike Ensminger, who was well-positioned for a putback.

        But as several Zips wrestled with Ensminger, the entire group fell to the floor, as the opportunity slipped away. The smallest player on the floor, Akron's Rashon Brown, was left standing with the ball. Immediately fouled, Brown would connect on a pair of free throws.

        “We said at halftime that we needed to be a tougher team and will it out,” Brown said.

        Somehow Brown willed it away from Ensminger, the sure-handed senior center who seemed to snatch up every other loose ball Saturday.

        The RedHawks (13-13, 9-6 Mid-American Conference) did have one final chance, but Ben Helmer's shot — which came from inside the 3-point line — was off line.

        Akron (11-12, 8-6) coach Dan Hipsher said he was pleased to pull this one out.

        “We just made a few plays down the stretch,” he said. “We did a pretty good job on Shorts and Jason Grunkemeyer, and I think that's pretty important.”

        The RedHawks had taken a 55-54 lead after Doug Davis penetrated the lane and scored with 1:12 remaining. But when Davis picked up his fifth foul on the next possession and sent Byron Thompson to the line, the Zips reclaimed control.

        Thompson, who had hit merely 60 percent of his free throws this season, made all four of his attempts Saturday, including a pair with 37 seconds remaining.

        Akron's edge from the line Saturday (Akron was 18-of-21, Miami 6-of-11), couldn't have been much of a surprise to Miami coach Charlie Coles, whose team entered Saturday ranked 301st in Division I in free throws attempted. But what did shock Coles was that MU couldn't win the game despite attempting 20 more shots from the field than Akron.

        “We had 56 shots and they had 36,” Coles said. “That's a terrible way to lose a ballgame.“

        Shorts' team-best 14 points came on 5-of-16 shooting. Juby Johnson added 11.

        Larry Drake came off the bench to score 10 points, including three 3s.

        The win was Hipsher's 200th.


MIAMI  (55)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Johnson         36   5-9   0-0   1-2  1  3   11
Shorts          33  5-16   4-4   7-8  1  1   14
Ensminger       35   3-5   0-1   4-8  3  3    6
Grunkemeyer     19   1-5   0-0   0-2  0  1    3
Davis           33   3-9   1-2   0-1  2  5    7
Helmers          1   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Drake           18   3-7   1-3   1-2  0  1   10
Allendorf       11   2-4   0-1   2-4  0  1    4
Jameson         14   0-0   0-0   0-2  2  3    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 22-56  6-11 15-29  9 18   55
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.393, FT-.545. 3-Point Goals:
5-16, .313 (Johnson 1-3, Grunkemeyer 1-4, Davis
0-3, Drake 3-6). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots:
2 (Davis, Drake). Turnovers: 7 (Shorts 3, Davis,
Grunkemeyer, Johnson). Steals: 6 (Davis 3,
Ensminger 2, Johnson).


AKRON (58)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Thompson        25   0-2   4-4   1-4  0  1    4
Schindewolf     32   4-9   2-2   1-3  4  3   13
Weinkein        27   1-4   0-0   0-5  1  1    2
Brown           36   5-7   5-6   0-4  2  1   16
Smith           30   2-8   4-4   0-2  1  2   10
Zollner          5   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Sims            19   2-3   0-0   0-0  2  0    6
Penn            18   1-1   1-1   3-5  1  3    3
Seibert          8   1-2   2-4   1-1  0  0    4
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 16-36 18-21  6-24 11 12   58
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.444, FT-.857. 3-Point Goals:
8-14, .571 (Schindewolf 3-6, Brown 1-1, Smith
2-4, Sims 2-3). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots:
4 (Zollner 2, Brown, Thompson). Turnovers: 13
(Weinkein 4, Smith 3, Penn 2, Thompson 2,
Schindewolf). Steals: 4 (Brown, Penn, Sims,
Weinkein).
__________________________________
Miami              22   33  -   55
Akron              23   35  -   58
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 2,636. Officials: Tony
Garton, Tim Fogarty, Mark Masariu.


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