Canes Defeat FSU, 64-63

Guillermo Diaz and Rob Hite scored 19 and 18 points respectively to lead the University of Miami to a 64-63 victory over Florida State University Saturday afternoon, giving the Hurricanes a surprising 3-1 record in the ACC and 12-3 record overall.

With 52 seconds left in the game FSU went up 63-60 off of two free-throws by Adam Waleskowski. On the Hurricanes next possession, point guard Anthony Harris was fouled in the act of shooting a three-pointer, and made 2-of-3 free-throws.

The Hurricanes decided to then make the Seminoles beat them from the free throw line. After committing two fouls the Hurricanes forced Waleskowski to throw an errant inbound pass that bounced out of bounds.

Miami got the ball back with 34 seconds left on the clock. Guard Guillermo Diaz waited until 11 seconds to make his move. He shook his first man free and dribbled down the lane to make the eight-foot runner, leaving seven seconds on the clock.

Florida State could not answer.

"We ran a set for Guillermo, and he just made a play," coach Frank Haith said. "We wanted to put the ball in his hands. He went and got a shot. I feel pretty confident about him being able to get in the lane and execute."

"I didn't want to put pressure in my head," Diaz said. "I just relaxed and made the play. If you think positive, everything is going to be positive. That is what I did, is just execute. My confidence is very high. I do not feel any pressure on the court."

The key stats in the game were the rebounding and free-throw shooting differential between the two teams. Miami out-rebounded FSU 41-31, and dominated the second chance points 22-5. The Hurricanes attacked the basket, attempting 22 free-throws to FSU's five.

Forward Will Frisby led the Hurricanes with 12 rebounds, seven of which were offensive, while Anthony King intimidated the ‘Noles with six blocks.

"I thought Will's emotional presence was key," Haith said. "He played with a lot of energy and had some huge rebounds. That is important for us."

"We have the mentality on this team that we are not going to stop, we are not going to give up," Frisby said. "We are going to dive on the floor, we are going to crash the glass. We are going to do all the little things and hard things it takes to win."

Even Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton, who was responsible for Miami's success in the late 90's, was singing the praises of the Hurricanes.

"Our inability to get to the foul line was obviously not good," Hamilton said. "I thought they did a good job on the boards by keeping the ball alive in critical situations. I think they will be a factor in the ACC this year because they have guys that are talented, great shooters, and athletic. They seem to have a poise and level of confidence that doe not allow them to get rattled. That made the difference in them being able to close out for the win."

The Hurricanes only lead in the first half was eight to seven with 16:22 left in the half. Miami managed to tie it at 29 behind a 10-2 run and ended at the half behind by one, 31-31.

For the second straight game, Miami has had a nearly packed arena. A crowd of 6,323 was on hand, including Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez, to cheer on the up and coming ‘Canes.

"It is great that we have a crowd here," Frisby said. "We want everyone to be excited and jumping around. I was trying to get everyone in the stands loud."

It has been a coming out party in the ACC so far for Guillermo Diaz. He has averaged 24.5 points a game versus ACC competition, and seems to get better with each game.

"There is no question that he is a special talent," Haith said. "He has proven that he is capable of making huge plays and having ice-water in his veins. There are a lot of teams around the country that have guys that can get their own shot and we are very fortunate that we have Guillermo here for us."

The ACC schedule does not get any easier as the Hurricanes face perennial power Duke on Wednesday. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN at 8:30 PM.

"We know that we play Duke and that they are a tremendous basketball team," Haith said. "It should be exciting for people here in South Florida to have a team like that come into our area. It will be a tremendous challenge for us to win that game."

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