Hurricanes Fall Short Once Again

Darius Rice, the leading scorer and MVP of the Hurricanes so far this season was out with torn ligaments in his shooting hand. Another superstar, however, came to play and torched the Canes as he has done so many times before. It was the last meeting between Troy Bell and the Miami Hurricanes (10-15, 3-11), who should be ecstatic.

In their first meeting this season, Bell poured in 34 points and he held true to form today as he scored a game high 32 points as he moved into 2nd place in the all time Big East scoring records. Boston College (16-9, 9-5) has owned Miami of late, winning the past six meetings in a row and again dominated this game early. This was an extremely important game the Hurricanes needed to stay alive in their Big East Tournament hopes, but instead they dropped their fifth straight game and are now a game behind Virginia Tech, who beat Villanova today by 25 points, for last place in the EAST standings.

In the first half, Miami shot a respectable 46% from the field and held Boston College to 41% shooting but could not overcome their 15 turnovers. Troy Bell started out on fire and at one point he was outscoring the entire Miami team 19-17. He scored 12 straight points at one point as he led the Eagles to a commanding 14 point halftime lead. The Hurricanes shot well but could not overcome the fact that at the end of the first half, they had more turnovers (15) than field goals made (9).

The 2nd half may have been the best half the Hurricanes have played all season long. However, like many times before, the early hole they got themselves in was insurmountable and the Canes ultimately fell short. Miami shot an amazing 63% from the field in the 2nd half and 54% overall but the 15 turnovers in the 1st half proved to be too costly. Miami finished the game with 21 turnovers extending their streak of 20+ turnover games to four, a record they that needs to be stopped if Miami wants to qualify for the Big East Tournament. Without Darius Rice, Miami badly needed another player to step up and become the main scoring option. Senior James Jones showed his leadership and provided 27 points for the depleted Hurricanes on 11-12 shooting from the line. Armando Surratt was the only other Miami player who scored in double digits with 14. The Hurricanes were successful in shutting down the other two main scoring threats the Eagles possess in Craig Smith and Ryan Sidney, but Troy Bell proved to be the difference. Jermaine Watson was the unsung hero for the Eagles as he provided 17 points to complement Bell throughout the game.

In the end, turnovers cost Miami the game. Turnovers have come early and frequently throughout the season and are reflective of the extremely young freshman backcourt Miami is forced to play with. However, freshman guards Eric Wilkins, Armando Surratt and Robert Hite need to step it up and show why they were so highly touted in high school if Miami is to have any chance in winning their final two games against Virginia Tech and St Johns. They have played 25 games together this year and need to play like sophomores and show the maturity they gained from playing nearly an entire season. Miami travels to Virginia Tech on March 5th which is a must win if the Hurricanes don't want to finish in last place in the Big East EAST standings. A loss would end all hopes of postseason play and would be the final nail in the coffin of this disastrous season. A loss would guarantee the Canes would finish below .500 for the first time since the 93-94 season. A loss would provide even more fire under Perry Clark's head coaching future and would provide the fans with even more disgust. The season is closing to an end and the Hurricanes need to finish on a high note. Some sort of momentum in their hopes of rebuilding this once perennial top 25 team in the country.

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