It was a Senior Day that the Miami Hurricanes should want to forget.
With five seconds remaining, freshman guard Durand Scott missed a 15 foot difficult runner at the buzzer and the Hurricanes lost to arch rival Florida State, 61-60.
Switching back to their old uniforms didn’t help the Hurricanes as they lost their third straight game. The loss guarantees the Canes a last-place finish in the ACC. On Thursday, Miami will play the No. 5 seed in the first round of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.
“I obviously was very proud of how hard we fought,” said head coach Frank Haith, whose team was trailing by 11 points in the second half. “I thought when we had 12-0 run to get us back in the game, we played with extreme intensity and played extremely hard; I wish we could have exerted ourselves a little bit longer.”
The Canes were without leading scorer, senior forward Dwayne Collins, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to a stress reaction in his leg. Senior guard James Dews struggled to knock down shots.
Dews had the opportunity twice to nail a three-pointer to give Miami a two-point lead but both rimmed out.
“We had two great looks by Dews late in the game,” Haith said. “They were really great looks. If one of those goes down, we’re probably sitting here with the win.”
With 1:19 remaining, Florida State milked the clock down by getting a reset of the shot clock after a Miami foul and was granted a jump ball. Florida State took it time all the way down to five seconds giving Miami one chance.
That opportunity was suppose to go to redshirt senior Adrian Thomas but Thomas struggled to get a shot off and was forced to dump it off to Scott. Scott was forced to rush a shot.
“I saw [Thomas] had his back to the basket. I called his name and he gave me the ball,” said Scott, who finished with 14 points. “I was hoping I had enough time to get to the basket, but the coaches were like, ‘shoot!’ and I just tried to get it up as soon as possible.”
Two minutes earlier, Scott had given the Hurricanes their first lead of the game, 60-58 when he hit a driving layup. Seconds later, Florida State’s Luke Loucks hit a three-pointer giving Florida State the win.
Still the Seminoles earned their victory as they converted on 10 for 18 three-pointers and the Hurricanes were just 3 for 15 from beyond the arc.
“We sent out our seniors on the wrong note,” said redshirt freshman Reginald Johnson, who had 12 points and four blocks. “This was their day. This was supposed to be for them.”
In spite of the loss, the Canes will have to get ready for the conference tournament this week. Miami will need an unbelievable run in the ACC Tournament and Haith hopes some of the positive momentum can carry over.
“We played hard, there’s no question,” Haith said. “I would hope [it carries]. You look at the youth of this team; we competed, we played very hard.”
Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at email@example.com.