'Canes Fall 83-70 in OT

MIAMI, Fla. -- For forty minutes Miami hung neck and neck with an Elite Eight team, but overtime was a different story. With the score tied at 65 heading into overtime, Xavier went on a 12-3 run to open the extra session and pulled out an 83-70 win in the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic in front of a crowd of 9,812 at the AmericanAirlines Arena.

Xavier's Justin Doellman scored six points in the overtime to pace the Muskateers as they improved to 2-1 on the season.

But the 'Canes (1-2) fought back throughout to get it into overtime.

After going into the half with the score tied at 33, Miami opened up a 37-33 lead, but Xavier switched it to another gear going on a 16-2 run to take a 49-39 lead with 14:09 to play.

The run was keyed by the play of Xavier reserve Will Caudle whose energy sparked Xavier. His three-point play gave the Muskateers a 44-39 lead.

Dedrick Finn hit two threes during the run.

"I feel like we all hung in there together," Finn said. "We didn't want to lose. It was a gut check time." However, Miami wouldn't go away as it crept back into the game behind the play of Robert Hite and Guillermo Diaz.

Guillermo Diaz responded after a 0-for-5 shooting performance against South Carolina State with 16 points, seven assists, and six rebounds to pace the Canes. He was very aggressive taking the ball to the rim whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Hite added 20 points on the night including knocking down a three from 23 feet out with seven seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 65, sending it into overtime.

"We forced Guillermo to get back into it by running some plays for him," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "He played really well tonight. He was very under control. That's how we need him to play every night."

Down 56-47 with 10:27 to play, Miami went on a 13-4 run to tie it at 60 on two free throws by Diaz with 3:41 to play.

Will Frisby who scored 13 points on the game struck for seven points during the run. Hite added four.

But chances to take control of the game went awry for the Canes with the score knotted at 62.

After Frisby missed a lay up, he rebounded his miss and missed another lay up. Anthony King rebounded the miss and was fouled on his put back attempt, but missed both free throws.

After a Xavier miss, King missed a shot from three feet out with 47 seconds to play.

"We missed way too many buckets in the paint," Haith said. "That's something we definitely have to work on is finishing those plays down low."

The Muskateers rebounded the ball and called time out with 20.3 seconds to play.

On their ensuing possession, guard Dedrick Finn drove to the basket and was fouled by Anthony Harris. Finn, who finished with 15 points and four assists, made the lay up and completed the three-point play that set up Hite's heroics in regulation.

"The play was for Guillermo (Diaz) to hand it off to me," Hite said. "If they jumped me, he was supposed to take the shot, but they didn't and I shot it. I knew it was going in."

Finn's final second shot from ten feet out was swatted away by King.

A thorn in Miami's side all game was Brian Thornton who quietly scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Thornton was named the game's MVP.

"We were upbeat going in overtime," Thornton said. "Hite hit a great shot to send the game into overtime. We just have to move on. Miami is the most athletic team we'll see all year."

Although disappointed in the loss, Haith was pleased with the way his team fought back after trailing by double digits.

"We grew up tonight," Haith said. "We got behind by 10, but we stressed to play one possession at a time. Get some stops and then execute during that time to come back and go into overtime. We learned from this game."

Miami plays at home against Florida Atlantic at 7:30pm Monday.

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