Canes Looking To Warm Up

Thanks to one of the biggest snowstorms in a decade to hit the northeast portion of the country the University of Miami men's basketball team was idle last night and the squad has no idea when they will make it back to South Florida.

So, with a few extra hours to spare the Hurricanes spent additional time in the film room yesterday in preparation for the Providence Friars. After having their contest postponed, the Hurricanes and Friars will attempt to get it in at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence tonight. With that in mind the Hurricanes concentrated on their most pressing need - a victory - rather than head outside and play in the snow.

It couldn't hurt at this point.

With six regular-season games left on their schedule, every one of them is of extreme importance for the Hurricanes (10-11, 3-7 in the Big East), who are in danger of missing the conference tournament along with finishing the season with a losing record for the first time since going 7-20 in 1993-94. Miami is currently sixth in the conference a game behind Providence (11-11, 4-7) and another ahead of Virginia Tech (10-13, 3-7). The team that finishes last in both divisions of the conference will not qualify for the tournament.

"We're running out of things to blame," says junior forward Darius Rice who leads the Hurricanes with 19.9 points a game. "We have to win - bottom line."

But with visits to Villanova and Virginia Tech as part of the games left the Hurricanes will have to do something about their struggles away from home this season to envision any hopes of sneaking into the conference tournament or beyond. Miami is 1-8 on the road with the lone victory coming in December at Central Florida.

The Hurricanes, coming off a 76-65 loss at Boston College, will again try to put the ball in the hands of Rice or senior James Jones. Rice finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds against the Eagles despite connecting on just four field goals, while Jones added 21 points and 10 rebounds. Rice had scored 20 or more points in four consecutive games.

Coming off a victory over St. John's, Providence is also at a critical stage in their season. The Friars, who trailed St. John's by 13 points before rallying, lost earlier in the season to Miami, 60-57. Sophomore forward Ryan Gomes, who scored a game-high 28 against the Red Storm, leads the Friars with 18.5 points a game.

Miami is 11-9 against the Friars in Big East competition, while Providence has won five of nine games on their home floor against the Hurricanes.

TOUGH ASSIGNMENT

The University of Miami women's basketball team (14-8, 6-5 in the Big East) will attempt to accomplish a monumental task Wednesday night when they host the No. 1 ranked Connecticut Huskies (23-0, 10-0) at the Convocation Center.

The Huskies, fresh off a 40-point win over Seton Hall, own a 62-game win streak – second longest in NCAA Div. I history and haven't lost a game since the 2001-02 season. The Hurricanes are sixth in the conference.

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