Hite, Diaz Lead UM in Losing effort

A better effort but Miami was again on the short end of the scoreboard, as they fell to #17 Providence today at the Dunkin Donut Center, 70-57. The Friars put five players into double figures, led by Rob Sanders with 14 and Donnie McGrath with 13. Robert Hite led all scorers with 15.

Miami was forced to do battle again today without their leading scorer and rebounder, Darius Rice, who is nursing a foot injury. The loss keeps Miami on the outside looking in for the 12th spot in the Big East Tournament with less than two weeks to play.

Providence, up nine at halftime, McGrath hit a trey on the Friars oopening possession to open a 12-point lead, 38-26. Miami took control of the next six minutes, going on a 15-2 run and grabbing the lead at 41-40, with just under 14 minutes to play. The teams went back and forth for the next three minutes, until McGrath hit another three to give his team the lead 49-47. Providence would not trail again, as they outscored Miami 21-10 the rest of the way, and erased the word upset; from the minds of the Miami hopeful.

Freshman Guillmero Diaz played 34 minutes, went 5-9 from the field, and scored 13 points while grabbing 2 rebounds. Ten Hurricanes saw action, but only six were able to contribute to the scoring output for Miami.

Providence started the game very strong, going up 19-8 midway through the first half. Miami managed to cut the lead down to 35-26 at the break. Armando Surratt scored 7 of his 9 points in the first half to carry the load for the Hurricanes.

The loss is the ninth straight for Miami, and drops them below .500 for the first time this season. Miami falls to 13-14 overall, and 3-10 in the Big East. Providence improves to 18-5 overall, 9-3 in the Big East.

With every passing win for the Friars, their seed in the Big Dance continues to rise. Miami entered the day a game behind Virginia Tech for 12th place in the conference. Virginia Tech plays host to St. Johns later tonight, and a victory by the Hokies could drown all hope for the Hurricanes.

Miami will try once again to pull out Perry Clark's 250th career victory on Tuesday night. They return to the Convocation Center and play host to the Seton Hall Pirates. Seton Hall, a bubble team for the NCAA tourney, needs every win they can get to ensure themselves a spot in the field of 65. Miami would love to play the spoiler. Tip time will be at 7:30. Josh Darrow and Joe Zagacki will have the call on WQAM 560 in Miami. The game will also be available via ESPN full court.

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