The Miami Hurricanes proved to many critics Tuesday that they are not the one-man team everyone made them out to be.
The ‘Canes defeated the Stetson Hatters 91-70 at the Convocation Center to improve to 3-2 on the season after a disappointing Thanksgiving in Las Vegas.
Miami was led by Robert Hite, who had a game-high (as well as a career high) 20 points in 24 minutes and Guillermo Diaz, who contributed 19 points and 7 rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench. Diaz has quickly become a crowd favorite in the three home games thus far.
Diaz drew huge cheers during one sequence in which he brought down a defensive rebound with one hand, drove down the court and missed a lay-up, but then stole the ball from behind the Stetson guard and hit a jump shot. This is just one example of the energy that the freshman brings to the court when he comes off the bench.
“(Diaz) really picked it up and gave us a big boost in the second half,” Head Coach Perry Clark said.
The star of the Hurricanes, Darius Rice, was held to 5-for-14 shooting and 14 points in 29 minutes. The Hatters did a formidable job containing the ‘Canes’ big man.
“With his reputation we made a couple of adjustments,” Stetson Head Coach Derek Waugh said. “In the post he is in favor of the turnaround jump shot, so we bodied him in that way.”
Rice was the Hurricanes’ third leading scorer on a night that showed the team has more depth than people think.
“We’ve got so many offensive weapons,” Hite said. “Anybody could have a big night any night.”
“We’ve got so many offensive weapons. Anybody could have a big night any night.”
Miami shot 52 percent from the field, including 48 percent from 3-point range. The ‘Canes put up 25 three pointers as Hite led the squad with four treys.
“It was a good victory for us,” Clark said. “I thought it was a team win and I felt a lot of people contributed.”
Stetson opened the game on an 8-0 run before Diaz came in and jumpstarted the Hurricanes to a 15-5 run. Stetson cut into a 15-point Miami lead with an 11-0 run of their own near the end of the first half.
After being up by seven at the half, the Hurricanes took control of the game in the second half with Diaz and Hite scoring 21 of Miami’s final 37 points. The win extended the Hurricanes non-conference home winning streak to 22 games.
E. J. Gordon led Stetson with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Miami had 24 assists on the night compared to only nine for the Hatters. Gary Hamilton had a game-high four blocks and Rodrigue Djahue was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field with eight points and six rebounds.
Miami returns to the court Saturday night at 7:30 against cross-town rival Florida International at the Convocation Center.