With game on the line, Miller leads St. Mary's

February 17, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Kristin Miller was perfect.

She sank all nine free throws in the second half to lead No. 3 St. Mary's over No. 6 Mount Hebron, 46-42, yesterday in the Fuel Fund Classic at the Baltimore Arena.

"If you put Kristin on the line and she makes the first one, then she'll make the rest. You can't stop her," said teammate Annetta Davis.

Miller hit half of her team's free throws as the Saints (18-2) won this one at the line after trailing by as many as 12 points early on.

Mount Hebron (11-6) scored more baskets, hitting 17 to St. Mary's 14, but the Saints hit 18 of 20 free throws to seal the victory.

The game-winning points also came at the line when Bridget Smith hit two with 26 seconds left to give the Saints a 44-42 lead. Tara Foran added two more to round out the scoring.

But Miller, who led the Saints with 13 points, hit her free throws at critical points, too.

She sank two with one-tenth of a second left in the third quarter to give the Saints their first lead of the game, 28-26. After the Vikings rallied to pull ahead, Miller added four more midway through the final quarter to tie the game at 40.

For Mount Hebron, the critical point came with a 40-38 lead and 3:37 left in the fourth quarter when forward Kristen Lloyd picked up her fifth foul. Lloyd, who had played a fine defensive game, was called for a block as she stood up to Miller trying to drive inside.

"If that call goes the other way, we have the ball, we still have the lead and Kristen's still in the game," said Viking coach Dave Greenberg.

Instead, Miller hit the two free throws to tie and then fed Foran for a short turn-around to pull the Saints ahead 42-40.

Rachel Cimmier, the Vikings' 6-foot-2 center, was fouled on a follow that tied it at 42 with 1:03 left. When she missed the free throw, teammate Kathy Doyle grabbed the rebound.

But seconds later, Cimmier, looking for shooting guard Emily Yanero on the baseline, threw the ball over her head. At the other end, Doyle fouled Smith, who hit the game-winning free throws.

Yanero had a chance to put the Vikings back on top, but she narrowly missed a 20-footer with nine seconds left.

"Some days, you're just off," said Yanero, who scored most of her game-high 18 points on layups and free throws. "It was frustrating because I think we could have done better. We made some turnovers that were just foolish, and we fouled them and put them on the line way too many times."

For the Vikings, the trip to the Fuel Fund Classic, which was snowed out of its original date of Jan. 17, came with a price.

Now, they will not get a second shot at No. 2 Hammond because state rules prohibit teams from playing four games in one week. Both teams have two other games scheduled this week and three next week, so they cannot make up the game postponed by ice on Feb. 8.

Because Hammond has a league record of 9-0 and the Vikings are 8-1, they lose their chance to tie for the Howard County championship.

"I'm really upset as a senior," said Yanero. "Personally, I'd love to play Hammond, because it's my last chance. It's hard to believe they won't make an exception for something like this [Fuel Fund game], because it's for a good cause."

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