Sunday, January 27, 2002

Shooting sparks Miami

RedHawks beat Ball State 80-77

By Ian Duthie
Enquirer contributor

        OXFORD — After jumping out to a 17-point first-half lead thanks to red-hot shooting, Miami held off Ball State Saturday for an 80-77 victory.

        Miami couldn't miss early, hitting 12 of its first 16 shots to push the RedHawks out front 28-11 less than nine minutes into the game.

        “It seems like they were shooting the lights out,” Ball State's Patrick Jackson said. “We didn't come out with the defensive effort that we wanted to, and they made some good shots and got out to an early lead on us.”

        Miami coach Charlie Coles added: “I thought today we came out better than we came out all season. We came out with an aggressive but smart attitude.”

        The RedHawks shot a season-best 66 percent in the opening half and finished at 53 percent for the game.

        But the explosive Ball State team that has victories over UCLA and Kansas would not go away without a fight, storming back in the second half shooting 62 percent.

        Trailing by 11 with just less than three minutes remaining, the Cardinals went to a full-court press that gave the RedHawks fits trying to inbound the ball.

        “The worst thing you can do in a situation like that is panic,” said Miami's Doug Davis of the late push by Ball State. “We knew they're a tough team and they're going to make a run.”

        With his team leading by two, Miami's Juby Johnson missed two free throws, leaving Ball State with 28 seconds to send the game to overtime after trailing by 10 points for most of the contest.

        With 2.7 seconds remaining, Ball State set up a play for 3-point ace Rob Robbins, whose 30-foot desperation shot hit just short off the front of the rim to seal the victory for Miami.

        Freshman Danny Horace was unstoppable for Miami, hitting all nine of his field goal attempts and finishing with a career-high 20 points. Horace, who normally does his damage near the basket, showed a shooter's touch, knocking down 10- to 15-foot jumpers.

        “Coach taught me to put more pressure on the defense, because they were doubling down on Alex (Shorts) and just leaving me wide open most of the time,” Horace said. “I'm just trying to lighten (the scoring) load.”

        Horace's only mistake of the game followed a rim-shaking dunk, when he earned a technical foul for hanging on the basket.

        It was his fifth foul, forcing him to sit with 3:50 remaining in the contest.

        But Davis, who finished with a game-high 21 points, was a calming force late in the contest, hitting all eight of his free throw attempts to preserve the victory.
       Ball State 3542— 77Miami 4931— 80

        Attendance— 5,265. 3-point goals— BS 11 (Smith 2, Jackson 5, Williams 3, McCollum 1), MU 5 (Johnson 1, Seals 1, Davis 3). Technical fouls— BS Williams, MU Horace. Officials— Mayborg, Montgomery, Wegenke.


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