Miami, losers of 7 straight, fall to 13-12 overall; 3-8 in Big East competition while Syracuse improves to 16-5 overall; 6-4 in the Big East.
Hakim Warrick scored 27 to lead four Orangemen in double figures. Syracuse, now winners of three straight games, look very capable of defending their title come March. Just like the 2002-2003 Orangemen, Coach Boeheim, has his team playing their best ball at the end of the season. .
The defense for Miami today was horrid. Syracuse shot 38-61 (62.3%) from the field, Hakim Warrick himself was a perfect 11-11 on the afternoon. The Orangemen weren't particulary lights out from beyond the arc, shooting 33%, but from two; Syracuse was 33-46, (71%) the majority of those coming right at the rim.
Tied at 20 with 12:30 in the first half; Syracuse looked as if they suited up Dwight Freeney in a basketball uniform as they blitzed the Hurricanes the remainder of the half. A 34-13 run to end the half, led by 21 first half points from Hakim Warrick, Syracuse had the Convocation Center quiet for much of the afternoon. During the Orangemens run it looked as if tonights NBA dunk contest had arrived early. Warrick threw down 4 monster slams accompanied by Demetris Nicols, Josh Pace and Jeremy McNeil flushing down rim rattlers of their own.
Syracuse set the control on cruise throughout the second half. Miami showed a little life making a mini push at Syracuse early in the half, Guillmero Diaz connected on a trey; then knocked down two free throws with 13:50 remaining to cut the lead to 63-50. Thirteen was as close as Miami could get, two deuces from Jeremy McNeil accompanied by three treys from sharp shooting guard Gerry McNamara, Syracuse was up 76-54 with just under 11 minutes to play. Perry Clark called a timeout and tried to re-group the youths but Syracuse was just too hot for Miami to handle today. The Hurricanes wouldn't get the lead under 20 again until the very end.
William Frisby led Miami today on the offensive end scoring 16 points. Darius Rice, Guillmero Diaz and Rodrigue Djahue also were in double figures. This was the second consecutive game that Djahue has reached double figures. Darius Rice eclipsed the 1,000 point mark in Big East competition late in the first half, to become only the 24th player to do so.
Next week Miami heads to the northeast to play a pair of top 25 teams. Wednesday night Miami will be in Hartford to play #5 Connecticut followed by Saturdays game when #21 Providence plays host to Miami. The losing needs to stop for Miami and next week will be difficult to do as both Connecticut and Providence are final four contenders. With Miami's recent struggles, chances of making the Big East tournament are getting slimmer by the minute, they must get at least one victory this week. Wednesdays broadcast will be available on Fox Sports Net Florida at 7:00. The radio broadcast will also be available via WQAM 560 in Miami, Joe Zagacki and Josh Darrow will have the call.
No Contest Against The Champs
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