Canes Win 8th Straight

Eleven games are in the books and now everyone will finally find out what the Miami Hurricanes men's basketball team is made of after finishing 9-2 in their out-of-conference schedule following a 76-58 win over Norfolk State in front of 2,157 fans at the Convocation Center.

The ‘Canes will finally play a league game when they travel to Atlanta on Thursday to face Georgia Tech, a team that features Jared Jack, Will Bynum and B.J. Elder, and went to the championship game before losing to UConn.

It will be the start of something special for the ‘Canes as they are flying high on an eight-game winning streak heading into conference play.

But business had to be handled against Spartans and former UM assistant Dwight Freeman, who despite blood clots in his legs, made his way down to Miami by way of motor coach to lead NSU.

The ‘Canes welcomed his Spartans, but proceeded to slap them around the court going on a 16-2 run midway through the first half to take a commanding 32-14 lead that NSU could never cut into.

Robert Hite keyed the run scoring seven points during the run, and finished the game with 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting.

"Going into the ACC 9-2 is real big for us," Hite said. "If we win our games at home and get a couple on the road, that'll get us in the NCAA Tournament."

NSU closed the lead to 11 just before the half on a three-pointer by Ryan Grier, but never got closer as Miami put the game out of reach, leading by as many as 23 points in the second half.

Early on, it was the Will Frisby show as he scored the ‘Canes first seven points and hit his first five shots en route to a 13 point, six rebound performance.

"Frisby's commitment to want to do well has been great," coach Frank Haith. "Having a guy like him who can be a scorer helps our perimeter guys so much because there are going to be nights when we are not going to shoot the ball well."

Where Frisby left off, Guillermo Diaz and Hite took over as they scored a combined 22 points in the first half.

Coupled with Frisby's 11 at the half, the trio accounted for 33 of the ‘Canes 43 points in the first half.

Many of those points came off of assists by Anthony Harris who has steadily improved game-by-game as he had four points and five assists in the first half.

Diaz finished the night with 18 points, five rebounds and three assists while Harris had nine points and six assists.

But the story of the night was the fact that Miami will finally start playing conference games, something that excites everyone including Haith.

"I'm extremely excited about it," Haith said. "Coaching in the ACC is a dream for me. We are getting ready to play against one of the best teams in the country, a top ten team on their court. Just toss it up and see what happens. We have nothing to lose. Just go up there play our butts off and see what happens."

Hite who gets the opportunity now to showcase his talent and his continued improvement against the likes of Bynum, Jack, North Carolina's Rashad McCants and Raymond Felton, N.C. State's Julius Hodge and more echoed that.

"I am so excited," Hite said. "It's going to be more up tempo in comparison to the Big East, and a little less physical, but that's our style and how we play, so I'm ready."

As are the rest of the Hurricanes who are ready to bring a Category Five into Atlanta.

Note: Miami's first home ACC game will be next Sunday, January 9 at 4:00 p.m. against North Carolina State.

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