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Heartbreak for Tech vs. UM at buzzer

Photo by Lynne Sladky

Photo by Lynne Sladky

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- James Dews' game-winning shot at the final buzzer went swish. His celebratory leap into a throng of jubilant teammates was dead center, too.

After misfiring most of the night, including on an important free throw in the final minute, Dews made a 15-footer Wednesday to give Miami a 64-62 victory over No. 20 Georgia Tech.

Dews finished only 3 for 11, and he missed the front end of a one-and-one with 19 seconds to go. But when coach Frank Haith called timeout with the score tied and 10 seconds left, he chose Dews to take the final shot.

"James is a senior. I felt he'd have poise and make the shot," Haith said. "You look at his numbers and he wasn't having a great night. But we told him at the timeout, 'Hey, you're going to win the game for us.'"

The Hurricanes (17-7, 3-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for only the second time in the past eight games.

"We know what we can do and what we're capable of," Dews said. "Now we've just got to build on this."

Georgia Tech (17-7, 5-5) dropped to 1-4 on the road in the conference.

"To me this is the toughest league to win road games," coach Paul Hewitt said. "But these are young kids. I'm sure they'll shake it off."

Miami led by 14 points at halftime and stayed ahead for the first 19:50 of the second half. But Iman Shumpert sank a layup for Tech to tie it with 10 seconds to go.

Following Haith's timeout, the Hurricanes moved the length of the court and Durand Scott fed Dews, who came off a double screen to take the pass. He faked out a defender before sinking his shot.

Then came the celebration in front of the Hurricanes' bench.

"It's a great feeling, seeing the excitement in my teammates," Dews said. "I wanted to do this for them."

Dews ranked the basket as the biggest of his college career. It was his first game-winner since high school.

Dwayne Collins had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Hurricanes. Adrian Thomas scored 12 points, all on 3-pointers, and Malcolm Grant had 11, all in the first half. Reserve Reggie Johnson added 10 points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes.

Miami held Georgia Tech to 39 percent shooting.

"We put the game on our defense," Haith said. "We did a great job trying to control the paint."

Announced attendance was 4,319, but the crowd numbered less than 500, pep band included, when the Hurricanes took the court a few minutes before tip-off. Despite the empty seats, the Hurricanes play their best at home, where they're 11-1.

Brian Oliver scored 19 points off the bench for Tech, and junior Gani Lawal had 17 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Teammate Zachery Peacock, a Miami native, shot 2 for 9 and totaled only four points.

Free throws have been a problem all season for the Yellow Jackets, and they made only eight of 16. They also shot 6 for 17 from 3-point range.

Miami fell behind 8-0, then outscored Tech 41-19 the remainder of the first half.

"We lost our way for a little while," Hewitt said. "And Miami shot the ball very, very well."

A pair of 3-pointers by Grant put the Hurricanes ahead, and with a 14-3 run they increased the lead to 29-18. Miami shot 7 for 15 from 3-point range in the opening half but only 1 for 9 the rest of the way. Tech went to a press in the second half, and that threw the Hurricanes out of their offensive rhythm.

Oliver sank a pair of 3-pointers during a 13-2 run by the Yellow Jackets that cut the deficit to 52-50. But Haith managed to settle his Hurricanes.

"I told them we were going to win the game," he said. "We just needed to stay together."

Miami rebuilt the lead to 60-52, and Collins' dunk made it 62-58. But Shumpert sank two free throws with 20 seconds left for Tech, then hit the layup to tie it.