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Courtside blog: N.C. State 79, UM 77 (F-OT)

RALEIGH -- OK, the game is about to get underway. I'll be here with my thoughts during the game. Feel free to chime in.

FIRST HALF...
- UM coach Frank Haith has gone with a small starting lineup against N.C. State's big team: Guards Lance Hurdle, Jack McClinton, James Dews with forward Ray Hicks and center Anthony King.
- 15:23 left, NCST 8, UM 5: The game started the way UM wanted. Miami took its first four shots from inside the paint, hitting three. King scored twice on post moves to put UM up 5-0. But the Canes have once again turned to taking jump shots and once again has cooled. The Wolfpack have gone on a 8-0 run and Miami is getting in early foul trouble.
- 11:45 left, NCST 16, UM 13: State 11-0 run finally ended when Ray Hicks rebounded and laid in a bad shot by Eddie Rios, who still looks uncomfortable being out there. Moment's later, Hicks dunked over Brandon Costner to make it 11-9. King has since paced Miami with back-to-back buckets. The Hurricanes have scored 12 of their 13 points inside the paint. Foul alert: James Dews and Jimmy King both have two fouls.
- 7:02 left, NCST 31, UM 19: State went on another run, this time 9-1, before Lance Hurdle's three-point play with 9:11 remaining. State has connected on four big three-pointers early in the first half and its helped open up the floor inside. For all the talk about Miami's poor shooting, the Hurricanes finally hit their first jumper with 8:23 remaining, an 18-footer by James Dews from the wing.
- 3:51 left, NCST 34, UM 23: It seems everytime Miami starts to claw back into the game, the Wolfpack hit a big three. This time after a 4-0 run, Courtney Fells hits a three with 4:20 left to extend the N.C. State lead back to 11.
- 1:18 left, NCST 35, UM 27: Wow -- that was funny. The crowd just booed loudly. The reason: Barry Manilow's concert scheduled for Sunday night in Raleigh has been postponed due to inclement weather.
- HALF, NCST 36, UM 27: The Wolfpack have connected on 5 of 9 from three-point range and are shooting 52.2 percent from the field. UM is 11 of 31 from the field and is 0-for-5 from three-point range. The Hurricanes have outrebounded State, 19-16, outscored them in the paint 14-8 and outscored State in second-chance points 6-0. Translation: Miami isn't doing so bad. They just can't hit baskets.

SECOND HALF...
- 15:52 left, NCST 43, UM 35:
Miami started the half strong -- especially Hicks who has been playing out of his mind tonight. But once again turnovers and some poor outshooting is killing UM. Jack McClinton is now 2-of-9 from the field and 0-for-5 from three-point range. Hicks has six points in the second half and a team-leading 13 in the game.
- 13:12 left, NCST 46, UM 45: Miami has gone on an 8-0 run to climb right back into the game. The Hurricanes have taken turns scoring in the pos. Haith has talked for a long time about Miami becoming a post team. They look like one now.
- 10:40 left, NCST 52, UM 51: Welcome back, Jack. McClinton's back-to-back three-pointers finally gave Miami its first lead with 11:31 remaining since UM scored the first five points of the game. An interesting development a few minutes ago when Dwayne Collins picked up his second foul. Collins took a shoulder to the chest afterward from Gavin Grant. Officials didn't see it. Miami's big men are picking up a ton of fouls. That could be the story late in this game.
- 7:21 left, UM 55, NCST 54: Jimmy Graham's offensive rebound and stick-back has given UM the lead again. McClinton is starting to heat up for the Canes, who have outplayed N.C. State's big men in the second half.
- 5:11 left, UM 61, NCST 58: Lance Hurdle has fouled out. The Hurricanes had a five-point lead with 5:45 remaining.
- 3:30 left, UM 65, NCST 64: How about a shout out to former Miami Dr. Krop standout Javi Gonzalez. The freshman's three-pointer with 4:48 to play tied the score at 61. UM has now retaken the lead at 65-64 on another Jack McClinton jumper.
- 2:26 left, UM 68, NCST 66: If you don't like Jack McClinton's game, then something is wrong with you. This guy has icewater in his veins. Another big shot -- a three-pointer with 2:50 left -- to give UM the lead again.
- 1:25 left, UM 72, UM 69: How many big shots can McClinton hit? Another three to give UM the lead again. Then, Graham draws a charge on Ben McCauley before hitting one of two free throws to give UM a three-point lead.
- 17.7 left, UM 72, NCST 72: High drama in Raleigh. Canes have the ball and are now tied after Hicks made a foolish mistake fouling Gavin Grant on his way to the basket. Grant hit the free throw and the game is tied.
- End of regulation, UM 72, NC ST 72: Can't explain what happened there in the final 45 seconds except to think the Canes blew their opportunity. McClinton put up a bad three-point shot. King got the rebound then forced a bad shot. N.C. State had a chance to win, but Courtney Fells' three-pointer rattled out right before time expired. Let's see how UM handles overtime.

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