Miami stuns Huskies at buzzer

Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 2:42 a.m.
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Miami's Darius Rice scores against Connecticut in the first half Monday, Jan. 20, 2003, in Coral Gables, Fla. Miami upset Connecticut, 77-76.

AP Photo/Alan Diaz
CORAL GABLES - Darius Rice played brilliantly for 40 minutes and still managed to save his best for last.
The nephew of Oakland Raiders receiver Jerry Rice capped a 43-point performance by stealing an inbounds pass and sinking a 3-pointer at the final buzzer, and the Miami Hurricanes stunned 11th-ranked Connecticut 77-76 Monday night.
UConn appeared to clinch a victory when Ben Gordon hit two free throws with 8.9 seconds left, giving him 32 points and the Huskies a 76-72 lead.
But Miami's Armondo Surratt drove for an uncontested layup with 4 seconds to go and Shamon Tooles' hurried inbounds pass was stolen in the corner by Rice, who swished a shot as time expired.
"The guy threw the ball in, and I just stuck my hand out," Rice said. "I said, 'This is mine.' I shot it, and I had no doubt it was going in."
When it did, a jubilant Rice sprinted the length of the court with his fists in the air as Hurricanes fans poured onto the floor to celebrate.
The defeat left UConn players crying in their locker room. Coach Jim Calhoun said Taliek Brown, rather than Tooles, was supposed to inbound the ball that Rice intercepted.
"I did the wrong thing by passing it," said Tooles, his eyes red. "I cost us the game. They trusted me to be in the game. I'm supposed to make the correct pass."
Miami (8-7, 1-3 Big East) broke a three-game losing streak, including an overtime loss at UConn on Jan. 11. The Huskies (11-3, 2-1), beaten Saturday at North Carolina, have lost two in a row for the first time since last Feb. 2.
"It's a devastating loss for us, the way it happened," Calhoun said. "I feel awful for our kids."
Rice's career-best scoring performance tied for the third-highest in Big East history. The 6-foot-10 junior made 16 of 27 shots, including seven of 12 3-pointers.
"It was just one of those nights," Rice said. "The basket was as big as the ocean."
  • Larry House scored a career-high 23 points and had eight rebounds as Creighton beat visiting Illinois State.
    House, who came in averaging 9.1 points, picked up the scoring slack on a night when star forward Kyle Korver was held in check until the final 10 minutes. Creighton (16-1, 7-0 Missouri Valley Conference) won its sixth straight and swept the season series.
    Hours after becoming a Top 10 team for the first time in the 85-year history of their program, the Bluejays turned in a workmanlike performance against the Redbirds.
    Korver, the MVC's leading scorer, was held to just five shots and 12 points through the first 30 minutes. He finished with 17 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
    Trey Guidry led the Redbirds with 21 points. Illinois State (1-14, 0-7) dropped its eighth in a row.
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