Again: Another overtime, another heartbreaker.
It seems like the Miami Hurricanes could not shake the overtime bug as they were unable to hold a 16-point second half lead against third-ranked Duke, falling 78-75 on Saturday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
With the loss, the Canes became 0-3 in overtime games this season and dropped to 15-8 and 4-6 in the ACC.
“Our guys know we can play with everybody in this league,” head coach Frank Haith said. “We’ve had some tough losses where our kids have played really hard. It was just a great ACC basketball game. You’re going to have those games.”
Tied at 63, senior guard Jack McClinton took the game into his hands and hit a driving layup for UM, but senior guard Greg Paulus answered back and hit a 3-pointer to give the Blue Devils (20-3, 7-2) a one-point lead, 66-65.
After a pair of Duke free throws, McClinton would once again respond.
From almost the inbounds line, and with two defenders in his face, the 6’1″ Baltimore, Md., native hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to send the game into overtime at 68 all. The Blue Devils were unable to respond on two missed shots to end regulation.
“The shot he hit with two guys on him was just a big-time shot,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said about McClinton, who finished with a season-high 34 points. “It’s not luck. The kid is just a great player, a great shooter. McClinton was just spectacular.”
However, the Hurricanes struggled in overtime and didn’t get their first points of the extra period until McClinton’s shot from behind the arc with 32 seconds left. Duke had jumped out to a comfortable lead against the Canes and sealed the game with free throws down the stretch.
“I thought our guys competed and played hard,” Haith said.
McClinton scored Miami’s last 11 points of regulation and all seven in overtime. In the past two games, he has scored 66 points on 23-of-37 shooting and nailed 11 3-pointers.
But No. 33 would rather notch a win against a top-five team and one of the most prestigious basketball programs in the country.
“It’s difficult to leave here not winning,” McClinton said. “We didn’t win, but we can learn from this game.”
The Hurricanes were all over the Blue Devils in the first half and took a 32-19 lead into halftime. Miami’s intensity held Duke to a season-low 19 points in the first 20 minutes and 19 percent field goal percentage.
In the second half UM went up by as many as 16 until Duke went on a 21-4 run and tied the game at 42.
Duke took 39 shots from 3-point range and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, while taking advantage with 24 points off turnovers and 19 second-chance points.
“The thing in the first half I thought we were really good at was rebounding the basketball,” Haith said. “They got  offensive rebounds in the second half and just had opportunities. That’s what did us in, the second-chance points.”
Miami returns to the BankUnited Center to square off against fourth-ranked North Carolina (21-2, 7-2) on Sunday at 7:45 p.m.
“That’s the good thing about basketball, you live to play another game,” McClinton said.
As for the women’s basketball team, the Canes (12-11, 1-7) lost to rival and 15th-ranked Florida State (20-5, 8-1), 75-59 on Sunday afternoon.
Four Seminoles reached double-digits in points and as a team shot 19-of-21 from the free-throw line. Senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain scored a team-high 19 points.
“We played really tough,” head coach Katie Meier said. “They amped up the pressure on us. They are one of the best offensive teams in the nation.”
The Seminoles, who remained undefeated on the road at 8-0 and have won seven straight against Miami, scored 35 points off of Miami’s 23 turnovers.
Freshman forward Shenise Johnson led the Hurricanes with 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
“I just wanted to do whatever my team needs me to do,” Johnson said.
Miami travels to take on Virginia Tech (11-13, 1-8) on Thursday at 7 p.m.