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MBB Drops Road Decision at Syracuse

by Alex Schwartz

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team fell to Syracuse, 83-57, Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome.

The Orange excelled from 3-point range throughout the night, while the Hurricanes struggled to knock down shots from beyond the arc at the other end. Sophomore guard Isaiah Wong paced Miami with 16 points in the road setback, while redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty eclipsed 1,000 points in his career.

“Syracuse was very sharp offensively. They had the ability to score the ball even when our defense was on them,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We defended them pretty well in the first five minutes, but after that, they went on [a 23-3] run and that kind of deflated us completely. Our defense then broke down and we just couldn’t make shots against the zone.”

Miami (6-7, 2-6 ACC) jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first 6:23 of action behind nine points from sophomore forward Anthony Walker. Syracuse (8-4, 2-3 ACC), however, countered with a quick 12-1 run to go in front, 14-12, with 9:49 on clock and never looked back, upping the edge until it reached 14, 36-22, at the intermission.

The Orange went 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes, including a 3-of-4 mark from sophomore guard Joseph Girard III, who totaled 15 points before the break. Miami, meanwhile, posted a 0-of-11 3-point tally, matching its worst ledger in a half since joining the ACC in 2004-05.

Long-range shooting continued to be the difference in the second half, during which Syracuse extended its cushion as high as 30 in the closing minutes, en route to the home victory.

The lone Hurricane to join Wong in double figures was Walker, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the first 15 minutes. McGusty totaled nine points, all after the break, to reach the quadruple-digit mark as a collegian.

“We’ve got to beat the zone by going inside and outside,” Larrañaga said. “We went inside early, it seemed to work. Anthony Walker got off to a good start, but when you’re not making threes against the zone, it’s very, very difficult.”

Girard and junior guard Buddy Boeheim co-led all scorers with 23 points apiece for the Orange. The former went 8-of-15 from the field and 5-of-9 from deep, while the latter tallied 9-of-16 and 4-of-8 marks, respectively.

Sophomore forward Quincy Guerrier added 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting, while Miami limited junior guard Alan Griffin, Syracuse’s leading scorer, to five points on a 2-of-8 clip. Freshman guard Kadary Richmond registered eight assists, tied for the most by a Hurricane foe this season.

Miami finished the game just 4-of-25 (16.0 percent) on 3-pointers after missing its first 13 attempts. On the other hand, the Orange, who entered shooting just 31.5 percent from 3-point range on the year, went 10-of-25 (40.0 percent).

The Hurricanes also committed 17 turnovers that led to 27 Syracuse points, while the Orange had just eight giveaways leading to three points for the visitors.

Miami now returns home to take on Notre Dame Sunday at 6 p.m., with action set to be televised live on ACC Network from the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.

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

The 2020-21 Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball season is presented by First National Bank.

MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
– The Hurricanes moved to 9-20 all-time against Syracuse, including 3-10 on the road and 4-6 in Larrañaga’s tenure.
– Larrañaga, who entered the game with the 10th-most victories of any active Division I coach, is now 666-454 in 37 years as a head coach, including 196-120 in 10 seasons at Miami.
– For the fifth time this season, Miami used a starting lineup of Walker, Wong, sophomore guard Harlond Beverly, redshirt senior center Nysier Brooks and senior guard Elijah Olaniyi.
– Miami once again played without three of its four returning starters: senior guard Chris Lykes (left ankle), redshirt senior center Rodney Miller Jr. (right knee, season) and redshirt senior forward Sam Waardenburg (left foot, season).
– McGusty returned to action after missing seven of the past eight games, including each of the last four, with a right hamstring injury.
­- Freshman guard Earl Timberlake played Tuesday after missing Miami’s last contest with a left arm injury.
– The Hurricanes held Syracuse without a point for a span of 5:30 early in the first half, while the Orange, late in the frame, held Miami scoreless for 4:10 and, beyond that, without a field goal for 5:16.
– The only other time the Hurricanes went 0-of-11 from 3-point range in a half since joining the ACC was 1/2/16, also against Syracuse.
– Girard is the seventh player to score 15-plus points in a half against Miami this year, including the second to do so before the break.
– Boeheim and Girard are the second pair of opposing players to record 20-plus points versus the Hurricanes this year, joining Boston College’s Jay Heath and Rich Kelly, who did so on 1/12/21.
– Richmond joined Stetson’s Stephan Swenson (12/4/20) and FGCU’s Luis Rolon (12/12/20) as players to record eight assists against Miami in 2020-21.
– The Orange are the first team to shoot over 50 percent in a game against Miami this year and the first team to post a clip of 50 percent or greater in both halves versus the Hurricanes since North Carolina on 1/25/20.
– Walker’s nine points in the first 6:23 eclipsed his total of eight in the last three games combined.
– In addition, Walker’s 11 points in the first half set a new top total for any frame in his career, passing the 10 he logged before halftime on 12/19/20 against Jacksonville.
– Walker, who tied his career high in made field goals (five) and set a new top mark in ACC play, scored in double figures for the fifth time, including the fourth in 2020-21.
– Wong tallied double-digit points for the 21st time, including the 11th this season.
– Olaniyi logged the 100th appearance of his career.
– Beverly surpassed 1,000 minutes played at Miami.
– Brooks recorded his 50th start as a collegian.
– Senior guard Willie Herenton scored his first points of the season.