UM Cruises, 81-50

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes (6-2) defeated the Stetson Hatters (2-4) 81-50 to win their fifth straight game. The Hurricanes were led by Guillermo Diaz who had 14 points. Anthony Harris and Robert Hite added 11 points. Gary Hamilton recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Miami used a strong transition game on the offensive end to get their baskets and out rebounded Stetson 47-26. It was only the second time Stetson had been out rebounded this year. On defense Miami showed a variety of different looks including a three-quarter court zone press defense, and an occasional man defense. But it was their basic zone defense stifled the Hatters. The Hurricanes did a good job of not over pursuing the pass to allow open looks and did not allow the Hatters to penetrate the lane.

"It is important for us to show different looks," Miami head coach Frank Haith said. "We trapped first passed, we jumped a little bit, we showed zone press, and we played man. We have to change defense and we are starting to be more effective on our defensive execution. For the most part our defense was good."

Stetson University, located in DeLand, Florida, which is 30 miles from Orlando, jumped out to an 8-6 lead forcing Haith to call a timeout three minutes into the game. The Hurricanes got their six points on two three-pointers from Anthony Harris, but Miami struggled to find their range from three-point land shooting 3-for-14 in the first half.

After the first media timeout Miami came out in a three quarter court zone defense and immediately caused a turnover. Gary Hamilton scored for Miami on the following possession. But baskets were tough to come by for the Hurricanes in the first half as they only shot 37 percent from the floor.

"Offensively I thought we didn't get in a roll there in the first half because we didn't have good player or ball movement," Haith said. We didn't have great penetration against their zone via pass or off the dribble."

In the first seven minutes of the game Haith played ten players trying to find the right combination of players, but Miami was unable to get into a rhythm on the offensive end of the court.

It wasn't until the 11–minute mark when Miami regained the lead 13-12 in the middle of an 11-0 run. They would not trail the rest of the game.

At halftime, Miami led 30-23. Anthony Harris led the Hurricanes with 11 points on 3–of-5 shooting from behind the three-point line. P.J. Gordon and Karl Hollingsworth had nine points at the half for Stetson. In the half, Gordon was the best player on the court for Stetson constantly finding his shot and providing tough defense. Gordon finished with 16 points in the game and Hollingsworth added 14.

"I felt we got good shots in the first half, but we just didn't make them," Miami head coach Frank Haith said. "That is going to be part of it sometimes and we are going to have some games where we don't shoot the ball great. We have to fight through it. We held them to 23 points so our defense was okay."

The first basket for the Hurricanes in the second half was an emphatic dunk by William Frisby. Frisby also scored on the next possession down the court as he took the ball hard to the hoop. The dunk set the tone for the half as Miami went on a 21-5 run opening up a 51-30 lead. Miami also put together a 22-4 run later in the half. It was a game of two halves as Miami shot 63 percent from the floor in the second half.

Miami was able to get some open looks down low using a strong transition game. Their first four baskets of the second half were off of transition.

"That was key for us," Haith said. "We got out and ran and we made good decisions. One thing we need to do is slow people down on defense, but we also need to play fast on offense because I think our kids are athletic enough to do that."

In the second half, some of the bench players got significant minutes. Freshman Raymond Hicks had a dunk in the low post on a nice pass from Eric Wilkins. But it was Wilkins who turned in the best play of the game. The 6-foot-4 guard drove the lane and put down a nasty two-handed dunk on the Stetson defense drawing the Miami bench to jump out of their seats as they cheered for their teammate who has been battling back spasms.

"That was excellent for us to get a number of guys some minutes," Haith said. "Getting a lot of minutes out of our bench players was good because the other thing we need to do is to develop our bench."

The loudest cheer of the game came when 6-foot-11 center Glenn Batemon made a shot down low as he got fouled on the arm on his first touch of the game. The last six minutes of the game featured Batemon against Stetson 7-foot-1 center Chief Kickingstallionsims.

NOTES: Miami scored a season-high 42 points in the paint and shot a season-high 50 percent from the floor…Walk-ons Lee Butler, Keaton Copeland, and Jonathan Stratton played in their first career games and all three players scored …Butler and Copeland also recorded their first career points…Stetson forward Mark Stiles rushed down to Coral Gables from DeLand after graduation and made it to the game 30 minutes prior to the opening tip.

MIAMI BOXSCORE

Player	     Pts   FG	  3Pt	FT      Reb     Ast
13 Diaz	     14	   5-12	  2-6	2-3	5	1
22 Hite      11	   5-12	  0-6	1-1	4	0
12 Harris    11	   3-7	  3-6	2-4	2	5
34 Frisby     8	   3-7	  0-1	2-2	5	0
50 King	      7	   3-4	  0-0	1-2	7	1
2 Hamilton   10	   4-5	  0-0	2-4	10	2
3 Butler      5	   1-1	  0-0	3-4	0	1
42 Hicks      4	   2-3	  0-1	0-0	1	1
11 Wilkins    3	   1-2	  0-0	1-2	1	1
55 Batemon    3	   1-2	  0-0	1-3	2	0
44 Copeland   3	   1-1	  1-1	0-0	0	0
4 Mayhand     2	   1-2	  0-1	0-0	2	2
10 Okpalobi   0	   0-1	  0-0	0-0	1	0
21 Stratton   0	   0-1	  0-1	0-0	0	0
	     81	   50%	  26%	60%	47	15
NEXT: December 23 vs. Tennessee Tech at 7:30 p.m. in Coral Gables.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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