Depleted and Defeated

If you can shoot 60% from beyond the arc, there aren't many basketball games you won't win. That was the case last night at the Hartford Civic Center, as the #8 Connecticut Huskies, 9-15 from three point land, beat the Miami Hurricanes, 76-63. Rashad Anderson paced the winning Huskies by scoring 19.

Miami played without their leading scorer, Darius Rice, who was out with a foot injury. Last year when these two teams met, Rice netted a career high 43 points. Perry Clark's Hurricanes have now dropped eight straight, and fall to 13-13 overall, and a dismal 3-9 in the Big East. UConn had lost two in a row, but tonight's victory ended the slide, as they improved to 20-5 overall, and 8-3 in the Big East.

Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon accompanied Anderson in double figures tonight. Okafor scored 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. His 18 included a slam dunk to open the game and set the tone for the rest of the night.

Guillmero Diaz led the Hurricanes with 14 points. Armando Surratt, who came off the bench tonight, was the only other Hurricane to reach double figures, with 12. Eric Wilkins got the starting nod and played a decent game, scoring 9 points to go with 2 assists. Rodrigue Djahue contributed 8 points and 5 boards.

Miami took care of the ball well, only turning it over 5 times. Connecticut won the game in two areas: the foul line and on the glass. Connecticut was 13-21 on free throws, while Miami shot 83%, but only attempted six. As expected, Connecticut dominated the boards on both ends. They out-rebounded Miami, 35-23.

UConn led 41-24 at the half, but an early second half run by Miami cut the lead to 45-38 with 13:53 left to play. Rashad Anderson didn't let the Canes hang around for long, just as McNamara had done on Saturday. Anderson scored 9 of Connecticut's next 11 on three's. The Huskies were now up 56-40. Miami clawed back within 11 at 61-50, when Eric Wilkins hit a lay-up, but the Canes wouldn't get any closer. Miami started the game 1-9 from three point land, before hitting their last three at the game's end.

Connecticut was dominant in the first half; Miami just could not score. The Hurricanes had one lead all night and that was 4-3, in the early moments of the game. Jim Calhoun's team would build their lead to as many as 19 late in the first half.

The Canes will lace up the sneakers again Saturday afternoon, this time at Providence. Miami could desperately use Darius Rice, who is doubtful for Saturday. The #17 Providence Friars (17-5, 8-3 Big East) have one of the nation's premiere players in forward Ryan Gomes. Gomes averages 19.7 points and 9.8 rebounds. At 13-13, Miami is still fighting for a spot in the Big East tournament. Virginia Tech has a 1 game advantage over Miami in the win column. It is going to be tough for Miami to pull out a victory the rest of the season, but if they can somehow pull even with Virginia Tech, Miami holds the tie-breaker advantage as a result of head to head competition.

Saturday's game from the Dunkin Donut Center will tip at 2:00 p.m. Joe Zagacki and Josh Darrow will have the play by play on WQAM 560 in Miami. The live video feed will also be available on Fox Sports Florida.

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