MBB Drops 46-44 Heartbreaker to No. 22 Virginia

By Alex Schwartz
HurricaneSports.com

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team fell, 46-44, to No. 22 Virginia Wednesday night at the Watsco Center.

Before departing with an injury midway through the second half, junior guard Chris Lykes racked up 16 points and finished as the Hurricanes’ leading scorer in the narrow setback against the reigning national champions.

“Virginia is recognized as an incredible defensive team and they are because they make multiple efforts on every possession. I thought our guys did the same thing tonight,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We had a lot of possessions where our guys had to make multiple efforts to shut them down. They had a chance to get away from us at one point and we called a timeout and our guys fought to get back in it and we did. It’s just a shame the way the game ended.”

Both teams scored just nine points through 13 minutes of action and went on simultaneous five-plus-minute scoring droughts, but then the offenses began to click and combined for 29 in the final 6:51 of the half.

Virginia (22-7, 14-5 ACC) took a 24-23 lead into the locker room behind the play of redshirt junior forward Jay Huff. He made seven of his first nine shots and scored the team’s first 17 points, as no other Cavalier scored until just 3:20 remained in the half. Meanwhile, Lykes tallied 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting for Miami (14-15, 6-13 ACC), including hitting a buzzer-beating jump-shot before the break.

With the score 33-30 in favor of the Cavaliers and 12:11 on the clock, Lykes got hit in the face and suffered an eye laceration that sidelined him for the remainder of the night. At that time, had 16 of the Hurricanes’ 30 points.

Miami tied the game at 44 with 2:17 left on a 3-pointer by redshirt senior forward Keith Stone and no one scored until 8.3 ticks remained when Virginia sophomore guard Kihei Clark hit a pair of free throws. The Hurricanes got two looks at the other end, but neither shot dropped and they came up just short.

Lykes was the lone Hurricane to score double-digit points, while Stone finished with eight points, a team-high seven rebounds and a career-best four steals.

Huff led all scorers with 17 points, but Miami held him without a point in the final 25 minutes, as he missed his last seven shots. Redshirt senior forward Mamadi Diakite totaled 14 points and a game-best 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers.

Miami held Virginia to 36.7 percent shooting (18-of-49) and did not allow a made field goal in the final 4:46, but finished with a 35.3 percent clip (18-of-51) on the offensive end. The Hurricanes also attempted just two free throws, marking just the second time this season they had fewer than nine.

The Hurricanes will conclude the regular season this Saturday at 4 p.m. when they host Syracuse, live on ACC Network.

To keep up with the University of Miami men’s basketball team on social media, follow @CanesHoops on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The 2019-20 Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball season is presented by First National Bank.

MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
– The Hurricanes moved to 12-12 all-time against Virginia, including 7-3 at home and 3-8 in Larrañaga’s tenure.
– Larrañaga, who entered the game with the 10th-most victories of any active Division I coach, is now 659-446 in 36 years as a head coach, including 189-112 in nine seasons at Miami.
– Miami is now 5-8 since the program rebirth (1985-86) against reigning national champions, including 2-4 at home, 3-5 in ACC play and 2-2 under Coach L.
– For the fifth time this season, Miami used a starting lineup of Lykes, Stone, redshirt junior center Rodney Miller, Jr., senior guard Dejan Vasiljevic and freshman guard Wong.
– The Hurricanes moved to 11-7 this season when they have nine healthy scholarship players, including 7-4 when Stone is a part of that group.
– Miami is now 14-0 when leading or tied at halftime and 0-15 when trailing through 20 minutes this season.
– This is the ninth time in 2019-20 that Miami has allowed a sub-40 percent field goal clip and it is 7-2 in those games, including 4-2 in ACC action.
– The entire game was played within an eight-point window, as Miami never trailed by greater than six or led by greater than two.
– The 21 points Miami scored in the second half were the fewest it has posted in a frame this season, while its 23 points in the first half were its second-lowest total.
– Miami’s two free-throw attempts tied a season low, set Nov. 24 against UConn in Charleston, S.C.
– The Hurricanes had a 6:17 stretch in the first half during which they did not score a point, while the Cavaliers had a span of 5:46 during which they did not score.
– Every Virginia player besides Huff, who tallied the second-most points in a first half by a Miami foe this season, combined to miss their first 13 shots of the night.
– The 46 points were the fewest Miami has allowed in a loss since the program rebirth (1985-86) and the fewest it has conceded in any defeat since Jan. 28, 1949, in a 43-42 setback against Maryland.
– Wednesday marked just the second time since joining the ACC (2004-05) that the Hurricanes allowed fewer than 50 points and lost.
– Miami’s last loss when conceding under 50 points was Jan. 4, 2014, when it dropped a 49-44 decision at second-ranked Syracuse.
– Virginia’s 46 points tied its smallest total in a victory this season.
– Lykes surpassed 1,200 points, 400 made field goals and 2,500 minutes played as a Hurricane.
– Stone eclipsed 600 points in his career.
– With two made 3-pointers in the game, Vasiljevic now has 264 in his career, tying Duke’s Bobby Hurley and Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney for No. 20 on the ACC’s all-time leaderboard.