For the fourth time in the last five games the Miami Hurricanes had a poor second half. They were outscored 44-23 by Florida State after halftime on their way to a 75-57 loss at the Watsco Center Wednesday night.
Florida State depth was one of the biggest differences in the game. Leonard Hamilton played eight players at least ten minutes and another four players combined to play 24 minutes. Jim Larranaga went with basically a six man rotation. Other than the starters and sixth man Dewan Huell, D.J. Vasiljevic, Ebuka Izundu and Rodney Miller combined to play just 16 minutes.
The Seminoles depth seemed to wear the ‘Canes down. If Miami is going to continue using primarily a six man rotation the rest of the season it is going to make it extremely difficult for the starting five and Huell to not wear down late in games.
Miami took a 34-27 lead with just over a minute left in the first half on two Bruce Brown free throws. Florida State followed with four points on their next possession. Terrance Mann rebounded a Jarquez Smith free throw and Xavier Rathan-Mayes made a three-point field goal to cut the lead to three.
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The teams traded turnovers and Miami went into half time with a 34-31 lead. Florida State opened the second half on a 16-2 run that was a 20-2 run spanning to the end first half. That gave the Seminoles their largest lead at that point 47-36.
After Ja’Quan Newton scored 37 seconds into the second half, Florida State held the Hurricanes scoreless for the next 7:01 as FSU extended the lead. Miami was able to creep within 51-44 on a Davon Reed dunk off a Newton steal with 9:45 remaining, but thats as close as UM would get.
Florida State responded with a 9-2 run of their own. The Seminoles took their biggest lead of the night at 73-51 on a Dwayne Bacon three-point goal with 1:41 remaining in the game.
The Hurricanes were an abysmal 2-11 on three-point attempts. They also failed to get much inside scoring. Miami got 13 points from its front court. Reed, Newton and Bruce Brown continued to be Jim Larranaga’s primary scorers. They combined for 41 of Miami’s 57 points.
The Hurricanes inability to take care of the ball also hurt a lot. Miami turned the ball over 14 times, to just nine for Florida State. The Canes finished with just five assists. Playing with out a true point guard has been another achilles heel this season.
Next Game: Miami travels to North Carolina State for the team’s second meeting this season. Miami beat the Wolfpack on New Year’s Eve 81-62 in the ACC Opener for both teams. The Wolfpack is coming off of a 100-93 overtime loss to Syracuse in Raleigh Wednesday night. NC State enters the game having lost six of their last eight and they are 14-9 overall, 3-7 in the ACC.