Lawrence’s Big Day Leads Miami to 84-75 Win at VT
By Andy Fledderjohann
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Behind a career day from junior Anthony Lawrence II, the Miami men’s basketball team pulled out an 84-75 road win over Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd at Cassell Coliseum. Lawrence recorded a career-high 25 points and also racked up a career-best 13 rebounds as the Hurricanes (17-5, 6-4 ACC) picked up their sixth road win of the season.
Lawrence was 9-of-10 from the field and hit each of his three 3-point attempts. DJ Vasiljevic and Lonnie Walker IV each scored 14 points, while Ja’Quan Newton scored a dozen points and dished out four assists. Justin Robinson scored 22 points for Virginia Tech (16-7, 5-5).
Miami shot 50.9 percent from the field and nailed 10 of its 21 3-point attempts. The Canes were 16-for-23 from the free-throw line, including 8-for-10 in the final 1:03 to help put the game away. The Hokies shot 48.3 percent, including 8-for-22 from 3-point range, but were 9-of-17 from the charity stripe.
After Virginia Tech started fast with an early 7-2 advantage, Miami rolled off 13 straight points and pushed its lead to as many as 16 points in the first half. The Hurricanes shot 58.6 percent in the first half, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, and Lawrence scored 15 points in the opening stanza as the Canes took a 12-point lead, 44-32, into the break.
Miami scored the first four points of the second half and held the Hokies scoreless for nearly three minutes to begin the half, stretching its lead to 16, 48-32, before the Hokies scored eight unanswered points to cut the lead to 48-40 with 15:13 remaining.
The Hokies cut it to 66-63 before a Miami timeout with 3:51 left. Walker came up big on consecutive possessions, though. With the shot clock running down, he hit a contested 3-pointer for a 69-63 edge. Robinson drove for a layup, but Walker promptly answered with a jumper to push it back to 71-65. Robinson nailed a pair of free throws, but Lawrence’s running jumper pushed the lead back to six with 1:42 remaining and the Hokies would get no closer than four points the rest of the way.
Miami returns home Wednesday (Feb. 7) for a 7 p.m. game against Wake Forest at the Watsco Center. ESPN2 has the television broadcast. Fans wishing to attend home Miami basketball games this season are encouraged to use StubHub, the official secondary ticket market for Miami Athletics, to purchase single-game tickets.
To keep up with the University of Miami men’s basketball team on social media, follow @CanesHoops on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
• Miami leads the all-time series, 21-14, and is 7-8 at Cassell Coliseum.
• Miami is 6-3 in true road games this year and 9-4 away from home.
• The Hurricanes’ 29 ACC road wins since the 2011-12 season ranks fourth among all ACC programs, behind only Duke and UNC (35) and Virginia (33).
• Miami improved to 42-2 under Jim Larranaga when scoring 80 or more points.
• Miami outrebounded Virginia Tech by 13 (41-28), its second highest margin of the season (15 against Pitt on Wednesday).
• The Hurricanes played without Bruce Brown Jr. for the second straight game. He had surgery on a left-foot injury on Thursday.
• Anthony Lawrence II recorded career highs in points (25) and rebounds (13) while posting his second straight double-double (also his second career double-double). His previous high in points was 19, set twice previously.
• Lawrence scored 15 points in the first half.
• Lawrence also matched a career high with three blocks.
• Lonnie Walker IV scored 14 points and reached double figures for the seventh straight game.
• Ja’Quan Newton scored 12 points and moved up four slots on the all-time Miami scoring chart into 33rd place with 1,044 points.
• DJ Vasiljevic scored 14 points, reaching double figures for the ninth time this season and the second time in ACC play.
• Sam Waardenburg played 21 minutes, a career high.
• Rodney Miller saw four minutes in his first playing time since Jan. 3 at Georgia Tech. He matched a career high with three rebounds.