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Jan. 22, 1998

Miami Sends Villanova to Fourth Straight Loss

MIAMI, Fla. (AP) - Johnny Hemsley scored 21 points to lead Miami to a 78-63 victory over Villanova in a Big East game Thursday night.

Miami (13-4, 6-3) snapped a three-game losing streak and is now 8-1 at home, including a 5-0 mark against Big East opponents. Villanova (7-9, 4-4) has dropped four straight conference games and must next face St. John's and Notre Dame on the road.

Tim James scored eight straight points down the stretch, including two power dunks before finishing with 14 points.

Jermaine Medley kept the Wildcats close with 11 of his 17 points coming in the first half. Miami shot 50 percent while building a 37-30 lead. T.J. Caouette added 10 points.

Two soaring driving layups by Hemsley sparked a 10-run early in the second half to give Miami a 48-34 lead it wouldn't relinquish.

UM received a scare when Mario Bland was carried off on a stretcher after banging his head into press table.

The 6-6 sophomore fell head first into the press table while chasing a loose ball. Bland's neck was mobilized and he was carried off on a stretcher. He returned in the second half.

The Hurricanes had lost reserve center Nick Donovan eight minutes earlier when moments after hitting a 3-pointer he twisted his left knee and was helped off the court at 11:17.

Miami is 3-9 against Villanova, but has beaten the Wildcats two straight for the first time. The Hurricanes' 6-3 conference record equals their best start.