Ricky Harris sparks Minutemen, says he's loyal to Baltimore

The Baltimore Sun

University of Massachusetts guard Ricky Harris (Calvert Hall) said he never meant to criticize his hometown earlier this season when he was quoted on a school Web site as saying, "If I had 1 billion dollars, I would take my family out of Baltimore."

"I only want to give my mother [Donna] a chance to enjoy her hopes and dreams and fantasies in life in a nicer place. Baltimore is still my home," Harris said this week.

Harris has fulfilled some of his basketball dreams as a sophomore shooting guard through the first 19 games for the Minutemen, battling fifth-year senior Gary Forbes for the team scoring lead. Harris led the team in scoring with a 20.5-point average before Sunday's 77-65 loss to Xavier when he was held to seven points on 2-for-8 shooting by senior guard and defensive specialist Stanley Burrell.

UMass coach Travis Ford said the subpar Harris effort "was good for Ricky. He's got to realize that all is great when you're scoring 20 [19.9] points a game but when a real defender gets on you, then what are you going to do?"

It was only the second time this season that Harris didn't reach double figures after a freshman season in which he averaged 4.8 points.

Harris is hitting 45.3 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from three-point range.

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Harris also paces the team in steals with 2.1 a game. Harris had a career-high 30 points two Sundays ago in an 81-77 loss to Saint Joseph's.

Meisenberg rolls

Franklin and Marshall junior guard Sarah Meisenberg (Severn) continues to pace the Diplomats (11-5, 6-3 in the Centennial Conference).

Meisenberg, a two-time All-Metro basketball choice, leads the team in scoring (18.7 points), assists (4.3) and steals (3.3) and ranks second in rebounding (5.8). She is shooting 50.5 percent from the field, 81.7 from the free-throw line and 43.8 percent on three-pointers.

As a sophomore, Meisenberg also led the team in scoring (13.6 points), field-goal percentage (.452), assists (3.3) and steals ( 2.2).

Key contributors

York College forward Pat Kelley (South River) has been battling an ankle injury, but the 6-5 junior still has played in 11 games and averaged 3.5 points, and 2.1 rebounds for the Spartans.

Lebanon Valley College senior guard Donna Geiger (Chapelgate Christian Academy) has served as co-captain and averaged 1.3 points and 1.8 rebounds while playing about eight minutes a game for the Dutchmen (14-2).

Contact Bill Free at bfree7066@hotmail.com or 410-833-5349.

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