Canes Fall to UNC, 87-67

After playing Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouses Duke and then North Carolina, maybe the Miami Hurricanes are finally realizing why the ACC is the best basketball conference in the nation. Miami lost 87-67 to sixth-ranked North Carolina Saturday night.

Guillermo Diaz scored a career-high 30 points and is averaging 25.5 points per game in six ACC games.

Miami (12-5, 3-3) hung with North Carolina (16-2, 5-1) early, but could not run with the potent Tar Heels early. North Carolina was led by center, Sean May, who scored 17 points, had 15 rebounds, and three blocks. UNC had five players who scored in double digits, while Miami just had Diaz. The Hurricanes shot just 36 percent from the field.

The Tar Heels jumped early on Miami, taking a 9-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game. The Hurricanes fell victim to foul trouble and turnovers early. UNC center, Sean May pounded the ball early in the game, forcing Miami's Anthony King to pick up two quick fouls with 17:04 in the half. King would not return the rest of the half. Miami committed five turnovers in the first four minutes.

Miami always stayed within striking distance throughout the half. With 11:43 left in the quarter the Hurricanes cut North Carolina's lead to 15-11 behind spurts of four and five unanswered points.

With the Hurricane forwards in foul trouble early, freshman Raymond Hicks was able to get some playing time. Hicks played 10 minutes, scored three points and pulled down five rebounds in the half. Reserves Antoine Mayhand and Glenn Batemon each played two minutes in the half, but did not record a stat.

At 4:35 left in the half, Miami cut the lead down to 25-29, but that is the closest Miami would get as UNC closed the half out on an 11-1 run.

Though Miami held the Tar Heels on just 1-for-11 shooting from behind the arc, UNC held a 27-14 edge for points in the paint and led transition points 16-6.

Guards Rob Hite and Guillermo Diaz, who each scored six points, led the Hurricanes. Will Frisby had six rebounds in the half.

Sean May led North Carolina with nine points and eight rebounds, while Raymond Felton and Jawad Williams each scored eight. Guard Rashad McCants finished with zero points in the half.

The second half started with runs by both teams. North Carolina came out of halftime on a 7-0 run, but Miami answered with a 10-2 spurt of their own, bringing the score back to 36-49. However, then the Tar Heels exploded on an 11-0 run, pushing the lead to 60-38 and the game out of reach.

The Hurricanes were once again hurt by the inability to get guard Rob Hite going. Hite scored just six points on 2-for-15 shooting, 0-for-7 from three. ‘Carolina was also able to get to the foul line. The Tar Heels attempted 31 free throws to Miami's 17.

NEXT GAME: vs. Clemson at 7:30 in Coral Gables on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM.

Canes Time Top Stories