The University of Miami men’s basketball squad looked like it didn’t belong in the same gym as Michigan in the second half Tuesday night, as the Wolverines (4-0) pulled away and cruised to a 74-53 victory over the Hurricanes (4-3) in the Atlantic Coast Conference/Big 10 Challenge.
Miami lost its second game in a row and perhaps more importantly may have to go without starting center Anthony King, who went down with an ankle injury in the second half.
After losing by 17 points at Temple on Sunday afternoon, Head Coach Frank Haith counted on his team to show more moxie in its first appearance in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. The Hurricanes came out in the first half with energy and attitude as they hung tough with the Wolverines in a hostile Crisler Arena.
The Hurricanes took their final lead of the ballgame when Guillermo Diaz converted a three-point play to give them a 17-16 lead. A few minutes later, Denis Clemente heaved a long pass to a waiting Robert Hite, who laid it in to tie the score at 22-22. This would be the closest the Hurricanes got for the rest of the game.
Diaz led Miami with a game-high 21 points but was the only Hurricane to score in double-digits. Five Michigan players scored 10 points or more, led by Dion Harris with 16. Daniel Horton added 13 points for the Wolverines.
Michigan led 31-26 at halftime despite only shooting 31 percent from the field, missing its first seven shots of the game. But the Hurricanes could never build themselves a lead against the physical Wolverines. For the second straight game, Miami had plenty of trouble working against the zone defense.
Michigan used an 18-3 run to finally pull away from the Hurricanes in the second half.
“Their players manhandled us in the second half,” Haith told the Miami Herald. “Our perimeter guys need to do a better job cutting to get open. Our kids played hard, but they were the aggressors. They’re a big, physical team.”
Michigan out rebounded Miami 42-27 and the Hurricanes committed 19 turnovers that led to 23 points for the Wolverines.
Miami point guard Anthony Harris remains sidelined with an injured right foot.
The Hurricanes will return to action on Saturday night, as they will face Birmingham-Southern at the BankUnited Center.
Douglas C. Kroll can be contacted at email@example.com.