Sunday, February 2, 2003
Miami 57, Buffalo 55
Williams' steal saves RedHawks
By Mark Schmetzer
OXFORD - Doug Williams set a career high Saturday with 19 minutes, but it was his split-second play that made the difference for Miami.
The RedHawks' senior guard made a key steal that helped keep alive Miami's comeback from a 15-point second-half deficit on the way to its 57-55 win over Buffalo at Millett Hall.
The RedHawks had cut their deficit to two points, 45-43 with 7:51 left in the game, but the Bulls (3-14, 0-8 Mid-American Conference) seemed to be recovering. They were leading by five points and had just forced a turnover that freshman Roderick Middleton was about to convert with a layup.
But Williams chased down Middletown and stripped him of the ball. While falling out of bounds, he turned and threw the ball to Juby Johnson, who passed it to Josh Hausfeld for a 3-pointer.
That was the play of the day, Miami coach Charlie Coles said.
"We haven't seen a play like that around here in a long time," Coles said. "When they got that breakaway, I said, 'The game's over with.' That was a momentum-breaker."
Said Williams: "I just tried to get back and break it up, whether I fouled him or not. I think (Middleton) was surprised. He kind of held the ball out, which allowed me to slap it away. When I picked it up, I saw I was going out of bounds, so I jumped up, turned around and threw it to the first white jersey I saw."
The play kept alive Miami's rally, during which the RedHawks outscored the Bulls 23-7 to take a 51-50 lead with 4:11 to play. Johnson scored 14 points in the run.
Buffalo attempted a rally of its own, cutting Miami's lead to two points with 10 seconds to play.
But Buffalo sophomore Turner Battle, who led the Bulls with 13 points, missed a 3-pointer with two seconds left and the RedHawks earned their fifth consecutive win. It was Miami's second straight victory by two points on its home court.
Johnson led all scorers with 21 points and became the first Miami player this season to score 20 or more points in consecutive games.
RedHawks sophomore forward Danny Horace just missed his second double-double of the season with 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Coles was expecting a tough game with Buffalo after watching tape of the Bulls' 69-68 loss to Kent State Jan. 15.
"Buffalo had me so worried," said Coles. "I wasn't surprised. ... This is a team that should have beaten Kent State."
Saturday's win allowed Miami to stay a game behind first-place Kent State in the MAC East Division. The RedHawks play the Golden Flashes at Kent Monday.
Team rebounds - 1.
Team rebounds - 4.
3-pointers - B 8-13 (Bird 2-3, Battle 3-5, Gilbert 0-2, Cage 2-2, Middleton 1-1), MU 9-26 (Reed 0-1, Horace 0-1, Hausfeld 3-6, Mason 0-2, Johnson 5-13, Jameson 0-1, Williams 1-2). Technicals - None. Officials - Clark, Costain, Groover. Attendance - 4,768.
Marquette 82, UC 76
Daugherty: Snarl gone from 'Cats
Rankings become least of concerns
Xavier 66, Richmond 52
Victory a little sweeter for West
OTHER COLLEGE BASKETBALL
No. 7 Kentucky 87, South Carolina 69
Miami 57, Buffalo 55
Ohio State 65, Northwestern 52
No. 8 Louisville 95, No. 19 Indiana 76
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Women: UConn blasts No. 1 Duke
Smith's late basket lifts Norse men to 76-75 victory
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