Miami Falls to Michigan, 74-53

If Miami coach Frank Haith was unhappy with the effort of his team in the loss to Temple Sunday, he will be hot on the flight back home to Miami following Miami's 74-53 embarrassing blowout loss at Michigan Tuesday night in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Playing in its first ACC-Big Ten Challenge game since entering the ACC last year, the ‘Canes proved to be no challenge whatsoever to the Wolverines.

Although, only trailing 31-26 at the half, the signs of a blowout were indicated early as Michigan dominated Miami on the boards in the first half and throughout the game.

The difference was Michigan shot 9-for-29 from the field in the first half compared to 13-for-28 in the second half.

Setting the tone early was Michigan power forward Graham Brown who was like a vacuum under the boards cleaning up the offensive boards even though his team couldn't hit a shot in the first 20 minutes.

But his work was rewarded in the second half as Michigan went on an 18-3 run to blow it wide open.

Down 32-30 early in the second half, the ‘Canes imploded with a series of errors that included five turnovers and Brown dominated the boards that made the final ten minutes of the game simply a formality.

After a Dion Harris lay up, Lester Abram hit a couple of lay ups sandwiched around a charge by Robert Hite.

Guillermo Diaz calmed the run for a second to cut the lead to 38-32, but a thunderous dunk by Michigan's Chris Hunter revved the home crowd up. Following a free throw by Anthony King, the Wolverines ran off ten straight points to go up 50-33 with 11:22 to play.

The recurring theme of the game though was the ‘Canes lack of ability to box the stronger Wolverines out. Michigan finished the game with a 42-27 edge on the board and grabbed 18 offensive rebounds to Miami's nine.

That edge on the glass translated to points, including shooting 29 free throws and outscoring the ‘Canes 23 to 11 at the free throw line. The ‘Canes also finished with 19 turnovers.

Brown played a key role in that as he pulled down 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. At the same time, Miami's Gary Hamilton and Anthony King combined for 11 total rebounds.

The ‘Canes never got closer than 13 the rest of the way when Diaz his a free throw to cut the lead to 54-41.

Diaz led the ‘Canes with 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting with five rebounds and three assists. He was 7-for-10 from the free throw line.

Harris led Michigan with 16 points as the Wolverines improved to 4-0 on the season while Miami fell to 4-3.

The ‘Canes take to the floor again Saturday at 7:30 p.m. as they try to end their two-game losing streak against Birmingham Southern at the Bank United Center.

Notes...Anthony King went down with an left ankle injury following a basket by Denis Clemente when he landed on teammate Jimmy Graham's foot with six minutes to play. After writhing in pain for a couple of minutes, King limped off the court. His status was unknown, but it appeared to simply be a sprain...Sophomore Jonathan Stratton hit the first basket of his career at UM. The walk-on from Sandusky, Ohio, entered the game in the final minute and hit a jumper, the 'Canes final basket of the game.

MIAMI (4-3) - Diaz 21, Hamilton 9, King 7, Hite 6, Clemente 5, Graham 2, Stratton 2, Thomas 1

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat is a Staff Writer with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at rudy@canestime.com

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