Miami Loses 4th Straight

With three games left in the season, the University of Miami's basketball season is on life support. Duke made sure of that with a 18-4 run late in the first half that sparked the Blue Devils to a 92-71 win over Miami at Cameron Indoor Stadium Sunday evening.

It marked the ‘Canes fourth consecutive ACC loss and dropped Miami to 14-12 and 6-7 in the ACC. What makes this so depressing is just two weeks ago, Miami was 6-3 in the ACC as people around the league were talking about this team being possibly the second best team in the conference behind Duke.

Not the case as Miami has since dropped home games to North Carolina State and North Carolina and followed those with road losses to Boston College and Duke.

Believe it or not, all four games were quite winnable as Miami dropped the NC State in double overtime, the North Carolina was tied with 11 minutes to play, the ‘Canes held a nine-point lead at Boston College and led by six at the half, and against Duke, Miami was only down 37-34 when Duke when on its huge run.

Beyond that, Miami missed so many easy lay ups against Duke it's bound to make coach Frank Haith's stomach turn on when he watches the film on this game.

J.J. Redick did what he's done all year. He lit it up. Against the ‘Canes it was no different as the favorite to win National Player of the Year had a career night in front of the Duke faithful as he broke Johnny Dawkins record as the top scorer in Duke history. He did so on a three-pointer from the corner that put the crowd into a frenzy.

He finished with 30 points to lead all scorers while drilling six of nine three-pointers. Duke hit 13 three-pointers as a team.

Miami's defense surely didn't help matters any by allowing Duke to hit for 59 points in the first half as the Blue Devils led 59-43 going in the half.

The ‘Canes made a number of runs to attempt to get back into the game cutting the lead to 62-51, but proceeded to boulder more lay ups. Then, Miami cut the lead to 72-62 with nine minutes to play only to watch Duke run off eight straight pushing the lead back to 18.

The ‘Canes missed at least seven lay ups in the second half alone preventing any type of run to get the lead under ten. It also didn't help that Miami was 1 for 11 from three-point range.

Guillermo Diaz led Miami with 23 points on 9 of 14 shooting, but while Duke's offense had beautiful ball movement swinging the ball in circles around Miami's porous defense, the ‘Canes had little ball movement and everything the ‘Canes did was generally one-on-one and off the bounce.

Not to mention Robert Hite only added 10 points while Harris had nine.

After falling behind early 11-2 following back-to-back three-pointers by Redick, the ‘Canes stormed back to tie the game on three different occasions at 24, 28 and 30, but Duke went on a three-point shooting spree to break the game open.

But it wasn't Redick who sparked the run that put the game away. Demarcus Nelson drilled a pair of threes that led the way as Duke took a 55-38 with 1:41 to play in the first half.

The ‘Canes return to the floor Wednesday for a home contest against Virginia Tech in a more than crucial game.

Period point blank, Miami must win it's final three to have a CHANCE to sneak into the NCAA Tournament. Anything less and they'll be back in the NIT if they are lucky.

Miami (14-12, 6-7) – Diaz 23, Hite 10, Clemente 10, Harris 9, Hamilton 7, King 6, Hicks 4, Thomas 1, Graham 1.

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat is the Basketball Staff Writer with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

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