Scoring Drought Dooms UM

The opening tip of Sunday afternoon's Miami-Florida State men's basketball game could not come soon enough for Hurricanes coach Perry Clark. After an unsuccessful attempt to divert attention to the players on both teams and away from himself and Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton, Clark figured the start of the game would do just that.

Clark even admitted that he was anxious to see the basketball up in the air. But Clark probably could have done without an offensive tailspin that cost his team dearly.

After leading most of the way the Hurricanes managed just one field goal and committed seven turnovers in the final 8:27 of the game to fall 67-58 to the Seminoles in front of 4,155 at the Convocation Center in Coral Gables. UM senior forward Darius Rice, who had a game-high 20 points despite playing with back spasms, buried a pair of free throws, to give the Hurricanes a 58-54 edge with 6:59 remaining in the game. Unfortunately for Miami they were done putting the ball in the basket.

Florida State turned Miami's sloppy play down the stretch into a game-clinching 13-0 run that was anchored by forward Anthony Richardson, who led the Seminoles with 15 points. Richardson hit four free throws in the final minute of the game to put the Hurricanes away. Miami's lack of experience was in full display in the waning minutes as the Seminoles forced the Hurricanes into turnovers and poor shot selection. Miami freshman Guillermo Diaz, who finished with eight points, had four of his five turnovers in the last 8:00 of the game.

Clark said the Hurricanes inexperience hurt them with the game still hanging in the balance.

"Our turnovers killed us," said Clark, who is 0-2 against Florida State since taking over at Miami. "We only had six or seven turnovers going into that stretch - the 7:00 mark - but we had like six or seven there at the end. But give Florida State a lot of credit because they created a lot of things with their defense."

Despite the Hurricanes problems down the stretch UM battled back to take the lead late in the first half behind a 12-0 run that was anchored by Rice and sophomore Rob Hite. Rice, just 4-of-13 from three-point range, hit consecutive three-pointers before Hite connected on a pair of free throws to give the Hurricanes a 25-24 lead. The Hurricanes went on to outscore the Seminoles 10-7 with the help of two Armondo Surratt three-pointers. Surratt, who had 15 points in the game, scored five points in the first four minutes of the second half to give UM a 42-40 lead.

The Seminoles opened up a 14-5 lead over the Hurricanes less than five minutes into the game as they took the ball inside repeatedly on UM. Adam Waleskowski, who scored seven points in the first half, put in a layup and added a free throw to give the Seminoles a 24-13 lead with 7:12 remaining in the half.

Hamilton, making his first appearance in the same building he once dreamed of as UM coach, said his main concern all along was winning another basketball game not taking a trip down memory lane. But Hamilton said afterwards that it was just like he expected - not easy.

"We played against a team that was extremely well prepared and created a lot of confusion on our part, especially in the first half," Hamilton said. "But I really thought our experience really played a factor in the latter stages of the game."

Up next: Miami will meet Temple on December 20 as part of the Orange Bowl Classic at American Airlines Arena.

FRISBY SUSPENDED: Clark said after the game that junior forward Will Frisby has been suspended for violation of team rules. Clark added that he would meet with Frisby in the next couple of days to determine his status. Frisby was coming off a solid performance against UMBC with 10 points and six rebounds.

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