Men’s basketball escapes with opening win

After winning both exhibition games, the men’s basketball team secured its first win of the regular season against the Wofford Terriers.

Anthony King opened the scoring with the first basket of the night, which was promptly countered by Wofford’s starting forward Howard Wilkerson. The quick answers to every field goal led to the close scoring patterns of both teams, which stayed within four points of each other throughout most of the first half.

With the score at 10-10 after only the first minute, nonstarters Raymond Hicks and Brandon Okpalobi were brought into the action. Soon thereafter Eric Wilkins and Glenn Batemon saw time as well.

A crowd-pleasing dunk by starting guard Guillermo Diaz, who finished with 13 points, made the score 30-24 in favor of the ‘Canes. Wofford quickly responded with two put back shots and an assist courtesy of guard Greg Taylor followed by Wilkerson’s assist to take a three-point lead. Miami’s guards Robert Hite, who had 12 points, and Antoine Mayhand stepped up to end the half in their favor, combining for five points, giving the Hurricanes a marginal 35-33 lead.

The second half proved to be successful offensively for the ‘Canes, who never fell behind their opponents. However, the defense’s tactics had limited success, permitting the Terriers to closely trail Miami throughout the game.

Finishing the game was an eventful last minute in which neither team scored despite turnovers by Okpalobi and Wilkerson that led to a race against the clock between the ‘Canes’ defense and the Terriers’ offense.

King recorded 19 rebounds during the game, a feat that has not been accomplished since the birth of the UM basketball program. Hamilton contributed eight points and 15 rebounds as well

The 67-64 finish was not only important for the team as they start its first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but for ‘Canes new Head Coach Frank Haith.

“It was a win, but we know we still have work to do to become successful in the ACC,” Haith said. “We’re going to build on our offense and address the problems of lack of movement on the courts as well as turnovers.”

Stacey Arnold can be contacted at