Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Harris Gets Greedy, but That Fits Bill for Slu Forward Steps Up, Asks for Ball in Win over Murray State

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Harris Gets Greedy, but That Fits Bill for Slu Forward Steps Up, Asks for Ball in Win over Murray State

Article excerpt

It may be the holiday season, but Jeff Harris nevertheless decided 'tis better to receive than to give.

"I've been too lenient about demanding the ball at certain times in the game," said Harris, St. Louis U.'s senior forward and undisputed team leader.

"I think I'd been letting games slip away because I hadn't been demanding the ball. Tonight, I wasn't going to let this one slip away. I told the fellows that I wanted the ball." Harris got the ball. And what he did with it was crucial to SLU's 61-54 victory over Murray State on Wednesday night at Kiel Center. Charlie Spoonhour's Bills (4-4), once again nearly derailed by poor shooting, were relying on their tenacious man-to-man defense in trying to hold off the Racers (4-3), defending regular-season champions of the Ohio Valley Conference. When a 3-pointer by Murray State's impressive Vincent Rainey sliced SLU's lead to 47-46 with 4 minutes 1 second remaining, Harris started getting greedy: Guard Jamall Walker got the ball to Harris on the baseline, and he powered for a layup despite being slammed by 6-4 Aaron Page. Harris made the free throw for a 50-46 advantage with 3:42 to go. With 2:33 left, Harris again got the ball down low. But this time, he kicked it out to Virgel Cobbin, whose swished 3-pointer pushed the Bills' lead to 53-46. Harris again found Cobbin on the perimeter, and another 3-pointer, with 1:20 to go, gave SLU a 57-46 bulge that jettisoned any lingering Murray State thoughts of a late rally. "I think," said Harris, who finished with 15 points, "that I need the ball in my hands more" in the future. Spoonhour would concur. "I looked out there and I see them doubling Jeff," he said. "And I know when they double Jeff that we're going to have somebody open. And he was trying to tell them that." Harris gift-wrapped his full-service evening by grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds and taking on Rainey defensively. …

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