Miami 84, FSU 78 in OT

In crunch time, the ball belongs to Guillermo Diaz. And he delivered once again when he drilled a fade away three over Florida State's Jason Rich at the shot clock buzzer with 23 seconds to play in overtime giving Miami a four-point lead en route to an 84-78 over the ‘Noles in Tallahassee Sunday afternoon.

Up 79-78 following Florida State's Isaiah Swann triple from the wing after he curled around a beautiful screen with 59 seconds to play in the extra period, the ‘Canes were in need of a bucket.

Diaz took possession from Anthony Harris with five seconds on the shot clock, took a couple of dribbles, faked a drive on Rich who was unaware of the time on the shot clock and drilled the three right in his face.

But it was Robert Hite who got the ‘Canes to that point as he scored a season-high 31 points and grabbed eight rebounds while scoring the first six points of overtime for Miami when he drilled a three from deep to give Miami a 72-69 lead and followed that up with a beautiful pull-up jumper from the corner that he sank right in the grills of Diego Romero and Swann. Hite drew the foul on Swann and hit the free throw for a 75-72 lead.

His two free throws gave the final margin of the game.

Diaz added 24 points for the ‘Canes which split it's two-game road trip to up its overall record to 12-8 and 4-3 in the ACC following a rather embarrassing 71-51 loss at Virginia last Tuesday.

Harris added 13 for Lethal Weapon 3 that combined for 68 of Miami's 84 points or 81% of Miami's total scoring output.

But more impressive was the fact that Miami held FSU's leading scorer Al Thornton, who came in averaging almost 17 points per game, to no points missing all four of his shots.

The overtime was nothing more than a continuation of regulation that saw both teams go back and forth.

Miami led by no more than five in the first half while FSU's largest lead of the first half was four points before the ‘Canes took a three-point lead into the half at 29-26.

The second half saw the intensity pick up a few ratchets as both team's connected far better in the second half.

Every time either team went on a run, the other responded quickly. Miami took a 37-31 lead following three free throws by Diaz, but FSU came right back to take a 40-39 lead on three free throws by Rich.

The ‘Canes came right back with an 8-0 run to take a 47-40 lead following five points by Diaz and a triple by Hite. But again, the lead was short-lived.

The ‘Noles hit right back with a 9-0 run taking a 49-47 lead after Rich scored on a reverse lay up with 11:38 to play.

The lead changed hands five times over the games' final 11 minutes when the final 30 seconds took about twenty minutes to be completed.

With what seemed like the final possession Diaz drove the lane and flipped up a lay up that was short. Anthony King kept the ball alive tipping it in the air to a wide open Ray Hicks who put back a lay up to give Miami a 69-67 lead with 3.2 seconds to play.

After FSU inbounded the ball just past half court, the ‘Noles called their second time out to set up a final play. Diaz knocked the inbounds pass out of the bounce giving the ‘Noles one final chance from the corner with 1.3 seconds to play.

Diaz and King were caught on a back screen and FSU's Alexander Johnson received a perfect alley-oop pass from Rich dropping in a lay up to send the game into overtime.

The ‘Canes return to Miami Tuesday to play Wake Forest at 9 p.m. at the BankUnited Center.

Miami (12-8, 4-3) – Hite 31, Diaz 24, Harris 13, King 6, Hicks 4, Asbury 2, Graham 2, Hamilton 2.

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

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