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Miami Basketball Still Looking for Answers, Lose to Providence 76-62

UM plays shows a pulse but does not execute or make shots, in another humbling loss.

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps it could be taken as a good sign that the Miami Hurricanes at least played hard tonight.

But against a good opponent it takes more than that.

Frankly you have to make some of your shots, and take away what your opponent does best if you want to win.

UM was atrocious from deep, and gave up far too many easy looks in dismal second half that left them on the wong side of a loss from Brooklyn.

Coach L shook things up by injecting freshman F Omar Sherman in the starting line up, and it payed immediate dividends as Sherman got UM's opening basket on a tip in.

But Angel Rodriguez air balled his opening shot of the game,  and his counterpart Kris Dunn had three early buckets as the Friars jumped out to a 11-6 lead.

UM competed hard from the onset but Manu Lecomte and Sherman each missed two wide open jumpers, in a preview of things to come.

In the first half the 'Canes worked hard on the offensive glass. Missing their first 8 from deep, made it a necessity.

The lackadaisical shooting eventually led to an early 9 point deficit.

That's when Rodriguez finally awoke.

A nice dish to Joe Thomas, a steal and a hoop and the harm, and finally a three in transition, sparked Miami and got them right back in the game.

Amazingly despite being ice cold from deep (1-14 in the first half), UM was able to keep things close with some scrappy play.

In fact Sheldon McClellan's drive at the buzzer sent the teams to the intermission tied at 33.

Dunn and LeDontae Henton combined for 17 first half points for Providence.  Rodriguez led the 'Canes with 11 and Tonye Jekiri pitched in 7.

Any momentum the 'Canes has was short lasted though.

The second half started out very poorly as Providence switched to zone and Miami still couldn't buy a three.

Ben Bentil did hit a three for PU, Lecomte missed another open look for UM, and Dunn got an and one to open a quick 8 point lead.

A pair of McClellan threes finally fell,  but UM's defense suddenly started springing leaks and the Friars extended to a 55-45 lead.

From there both teams struggled for a large part of the second half to score.

However Providence blew things open eventually as the missed Miami jumpers exacerbated things by often leading  to transition opportunities for the Friars.

Dunn (15 points, 13 assists) and Henton (25 points) were impressive for the Friars, but far too many of those were easy looks.

Where does this team go from here?

One has to think that eventually shots will start to fall and they will get better offensively.

But right now the defense and lack of attention to detail is not good enough to compete in the upper half of the ACC.

UM faces The College of Charleston on 12/30 before facing defending ACC Champs #5 UVA on 1/3/15.