The Hurricanes defeated ranked opponents back to back for the first time in school history. Miami beat up on at the time No. 12 Maryland, 84-70, and won at No. 20 North Carolina for the first time ever 81-70.
Guillermo Diaz and Robert Hite each scored 24 points for the Hurricanes. Diaz sealed the deal when he hit a wild three pointer with over a minute left and the shot clock running down to put Miami up by nine.
Anthony Harris scored 17 points and also had six assists on the afternoon. Since returning from a foot injury, Miami has won six of its last nine games. The guard trio of Harris, Hite and Diaz has contributed for 66 percent of the teams scoring.
Senior forward Gary Hamilton was brilliant on the glass, grabbing nine rebounds with six of them being offensive, as once again he found himself in the starting lineup. Miami outrebounded an excellent rebounding UNC team 43-34, including 21-11 on the offensive glass. The Hurricanes also forced a young North Carolina team into 17 turnovers, while Miami only committed 10.
Miami outscored the Tar Heels 51-39 in the second half, much to the disbelief of more than 21,000 fans that were in attendance at the Dean Dome.
Against Maryland, Harris and Hite each put up 22 points, while Diaz had 21. Hite also pulled in eight rebounds. The Hurricanes went on a 13-0 run to start the game, and although it got close early in the second half, Miami was able to put another run together and put away the Terrapins 84-70.
On Dec. 29, Miami defeated its first ranked opponent of the season as it downed then-No. 25 Mississippi 79-70 for the team’s first real big win of the season. Tamara James continued to shoot lights out from the field, as she went 10 of 13 for 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the win.
Miami shot 53 percent from the field, while holding Ole Miss to 41 percent shooting. Lamese James put up a career high 10 points on five of six shooting, a night after getting a career high in rebounds with nine. The win gave Miami the 2005 Hurricane Holiday Classic championship.
A week later, Miami continued to play well, as it went to Georgia Tech for its first ACC battle of the year. The Yellow Jackets came in with a record of 11-1, but the Hurricanes came home from Atlanta with a 73-63 victory. Tamara James and Renee Taylor each scored 18 points to lead the Hurricanes, while freshman Brittany Denson helped with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Miami got off to a flying start last weekend as the team played extremely well in the Hurricane Invitational. The Hurricanes faced off against No. 22 Texas, No. 48 Michigan and No. 8 Duke.
Miami swept the singles matches against Michigan, and won five of six against Duke, which is not only big because Duke is ranked eighth in the country, but because it is also an ACC powerhouse.
The 10th-ranked Hurricanes also played very well in the FIU Spring Classic. Against No. 45 South Florida, Miami picked up two singles victories. While on Saturday and Sunday, Miami picked up five of six singles matches against No. 53 Illinois and swept the doubles points, and on Sunday took four singles matches against No. 30 FIU.
Douglas C. Kroll can be contacted at email@example.com.