Home heartbreaker for Hurricanes

The Miami Hurricanes (15-11, 5-8 ACC) limped into their match-up with the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils (24-1, 12-1) on Sunday afternoon, losers of seven of their past 10 games, including three in a row.

Miami played in a desperate fashion all night long, taking the Blue Devils to double overtime before finally running out of gas, losing 99-93.

Senior Tamara James scored a team-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while senior Melissa Knight scored 20 and had seven boards but fouled out in the second half.

Playing in their second game in three days, the Hurricanes came out firing, taking a 10-6 lead in the first three minutes. The teams traded runs of six and eight points before Duke took a 40-33 lead, scoring eight of the final 10 points in the half.

The Blue Devils came out in the second half and showed why they won their first 23 of 24 games this season. Duke held Miami scoreless for six minutes while going on an 11-0 run to take a 53-39 lead with 11:37 remaining.

Duke’s lead grew as high as 15 at the 10:25 mark, but that’s when Miami turned on the offense, putting together an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 56-49.

The teams traded baskets, and Duke still lead by seven with 36 seconds to play, but Renee Taylor hit a three to get Miami within 72-68. Duke point guard Lindsey Harding missed two free throws and allowed Tamara James to cut the Blue Devils’ lead to two. Monique Currie missed one of two free throws, which opened the door for James, who was fouled on a three point attempt with UM down by three with 5.7 seconds on the clock. James knocked down all three free throws, and the teams headed to overtime.

Currie finished with 43 points, becoming the first opposing player to score 40 points against Miami.

Each team scored five points in the first overtime, with Miami having a chance to win at the buzzer, but Taylor’s lay-up was blocked.

Duke eventually showed in the second overtime that it had more fuel left in the tank, outscoring the Hurricanes 21-15 in the period.

Head coach Katie Meier said she was happy with her team’s performance.

“I am so proud of my team,” Meier said. “The way the team brought energy today really impressed me after I thought they played well on Friday night against Florida State.”

Miami will return to the court to finish its regular season on Sunday against Georgia Tech before the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament begins in the first week of March.

Douglas C. Kroll can be contacted at d.kroll@umiami.edu