Miami Falls at Home to Top-Ranked Virginia
By Tom Symonds
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Freshman guard Chris Lykes scored a career-high 19 points, but it was not enough as the University of Miami men’s basketball team dropped a 59-50 decision to the top-ranked University of Virginia at the Watsco Center.
Lykes finished the game by going 6-of-12 from the floor and connected on 3-of-7 shots from beyond the arc. Seventeen of his team-high 19 points came in the second half.
Junior Ebuka Izundu (4-of-6) also chipped in with eight points off the bench. Fellow junior Anthony Lawrence II also chipped in with a team-high seven rebounds.
With the loss, Miami dropped to 12-10 all-time against Virginia. The Cavaliers picked up just their second win ever in Coral Gables, running their to record 2-8 against Miami on the road.
Virginia never trailed, held a 27-18 advantage in bench scoring and outrebounded the Hurricanes 32-24 to hand the Hurricanes just their second loss at home this year.
Miami struggled in the early going, as it scored just five points in the opening nine minutes of the game and trailed by eight to go in the first half with 10:30 to go until the break.
The Hurricanes charged back with a 7-0 run over the minute and a half to trim Virginia’s lead to one at 13-12 with 9:26 to go until half.
Virginia responded to the Hurricanes’ push, as it closed out the half on a high note, holding Miami to just four points for the remainder of the period to take a 27-16 lead into the locker room.
Miami came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders as it trimmed UVA’s lead to three with 14:21` to go thanks to a 10-2 run. The Hurricanes remained within striking distance through much of the second half, but the Cavaliers began to pull away with under seven and a half minutes to go, as they opened up a double-digit lead.
The Hurricanes would not get any closer than nine points for the remainder of the game, as Virginia secured its 24th win on the year.
Miami returns to action on Saturday (Feb. 17), as it welcomes Syracuse to the Watsco Center. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m.