Sunday, February 23, 2003

RedHawks suffer costly loss in big win


Horace ejected, faces 2-game suspension; Coles may appeal

By Rodney McKissic
Special to the Enquirer

AMHERST, N.Y. - At perhaps the most critical juncture of the season and with the league tournament's No. 1 seed in sight, the Miami RedHawks must survive the next two games without forward Danny Horace.

Horace, Miami's best frontcourt player, was ejected for fighting during the RedHawks' 63-35 win over Buffalo on Saturday at Alumni Arena and will serve a mandatory two-game suspension under Mid-American Conference rules.

Horace will sit out against MAC West Division foes Northern Illinois and Bowling Green. Miami coach Charlie Coles said he might consider an appeal because he wasn't clear if Horace indeed was fighting.

"I'm anxious to see how this one goes down," Coles said.

Horace's suspension comes at a pivotal time for the RedHawks, who are still in position to gain a No. 1 seed in the MAC Tournament. Miami (12-11, 10-4) is in second place in the East Division behind Kent State (18-6, 11-5), which lost a non-league game against Hawaii on Saturday. Horace, the RedHawks' second-leading scorer (12.1 ppg.) and rebounder (5.9 rpg.), had a game-high 10 points when he was ejected for fighting with Buffalo's B.J. Walker, a former Mount Healthy High forward, with just more than two minutes remaining in the first half.

"If we lose this kid, it's big," Coles said. "He's our guy. He's a kid who jumps through the whole crowd and gets a rebound. He was beginning to have a good game (Saturday), but we'll look at it and see and go from there."

The outcomes of the RedHawks' next two games have to be more intriguing than Saturday's game against sleepwalking Buffalo (4-19, 1-13), playing its third consecutive game without leading scorer Turner Battle, who is out for the season with a fractured finger.

The game didn't get interesting until Horace's ejection after throwing a punch toward Walker that didn't land. Double technical fouls were assessed to Horace and Walker, and when it was announced Horace was ejected, Coles stomped and yelled in the face of referee Kenneth Turner before being restrained by his assistants.

"Our guys kept their composure for the whole game, but I wish I could say the same for myself," Coles said. "But I coach Miami and I coach Danny Horace and I know what Danny gives to us on and off the court, so I'm in his corner. If there's corners, then I'll go in his corner."

The fact is, Miami, winner of eight of its last 10 games, didn't need Horace to beat Buffalo.

MiamiMFGAttFTAttRAFTOTP
Reed25022234002
Horace174522211010
Hausfeld264600300211
Mason3651213131111
Johnson3641212651012
Jameson3001200111
Drake8020141000
Williams7120000202
Morningstar2010000000
Seals12000020304
Vandersluis4220030104
Schenke21330041107
Hatcher3110001003
Totals2002448712321611663
Team rebounds: 4.

BuffaloMFGAttFTAttRAFTOTP
Bortz29152292334
Walker32273460117
Bird3231446121111
Lawrence23040061010
Gilbert281600111423
Cage15160020123
Middleton15260011125
Walcott6000010200
Jordan6010010210
Veal12012400112
Johnson2000000000
Totals20010501116387161435
Team rebounds: 0.

Miami2835-63
Buffalo1520-35
Attendance-3,073. 3-point goals-Miami 8-23 (Reed 0-2, Horace 0-1, Hausfeld 3-5, Mason 0-2, Johnson 3-8, Drake 0-2, Williams 0-1, Schenke 1-1, Hatcher 1-1); Buffalo 4-24 (Bortz 0-1, Bird 1-8, Lawrence 0-4, Gilbert 1-4, Cage 1-5, Middleton 1-2). Technical fouls-Horace (M), Walker (B). Officials-Fouser, Costain, Turner.

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE

East

Conf.Overall
WLWL
Kent St.115186
Miami1041211
Marshall771112
Ohio68913
Akron581012
Buffalo113419

West

Conf.Overall
WLWL
Cent.Mich113185
N.Illinois1041410
W.Michigan77158
Ball St771213
E. Mich681211
Bowling Green681013
Toledo4101014

Saturday's Games

Miami 63, Buffalo 35

Ohio 79, W. Michigan 72, 2OT

Illinois St. 57, Marshall 53

Cent. Michigan 87, N. Illinois 75

W. Kentucky 84, Ball St. 79

E. Michigan 76, Toledo 73

Ill.-Chicago 83, Bowling Green 72

Hawaii 79, Kent St. 78

Today's Game

Ohio at Akron, 7 p.m.




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PLAN YOUR DAY
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