Sunday, February 10, 2002

RedHawks' rally fizzles Rockets

Mason helps Miami rally from 9-point halftime deficit

By Ian Duthie
Enquirer contributor

        OXFORD — Chester Mason wore a vintage pair of Air Jordans Saturday, but it was his play that stood out most in the RedHawks' 64-54 victory over Toledo.

        Mason scored a career-high 19 points and helped Miami (10-12, 7-4 Mid-American Conference) rally from a nine-point halftime deficit. His second-half heroics were even more important because fellow backcourt player Doug Davis was unable to continue because of an ankle injury suffered in the team's morning shootaround.

        “We just had to pick it up as a team and play harder,” Mason said. “We needed energy and that's what I brought.”

        Mason took over the game by leading Miami on a 28-11 run to open the second half. He had 12 points, three assists, three rebounds and two steals as the RedHawks built an eight-point advantage.

        Mason finished with a team-high eight rebounds and didn't miss a shot in the second half.

        “That was probably the easiest second half that he has played in,” Toledo coach Stan Joplin said. “He got rebounds, he drove the middle. He did a lot of things, and that is something we can't afford to do.”

        RedHawks center Alex Shorts finished off the Rockets (8-12, 5-6) by scoring 10 of his team's last 12 points. He finished with 18 points in 19 minutes after coming off the bench for his fourth straight game.

        Toledo led by as many as 11 points early thanks to hot shooting by Nick Moore, who scored 16 points in the first 13 minutes of the game with the help of four 3-pointers.

        But Moore would score only two points the rest of the game.

        “We did a better job of hedging off the screens in the second half,” Miami coach Charlie Coles said. “We decided to start doubling them (off the screen), and the pressure disrupted their outside shooters.”

        Eugene Seals blocked four shots and made four steals for Miami.

        Terry Reynolds finished with a game-high 22 points, scoring 17 of his team's 21 in the second half, for Toledo.

        Miami, which remained perfect at home (5-0) in conference play, plays host to Ohio Monday night.


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