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MBB Drops Decision to Georgia Tech

by Alex Schwartz

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team fell to Georgia Tech, 87-60, Saturday afternoon at the Watsco Center.

The Hurricanes began the game with just six available scholarship student-athletes and played the entire second half with only five after sophomore guard Isaiah Wong, the ACC’s fourth-leading scorer, suffered a right ankle injury before the intermission.

“Well, obviously, Georgia Tech was really, really good right from the very start,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We knew their change of defenses was going to bother us. We really don’t have a point guard right now without Chris Lykes and without Harlond Beverly. … You’ve got to give Georgia Tech a lot of credit. I thought we did a better job in the second half. Isaiah, he sprained his ankle in the first half. Hopefully it’s not too bad and we’ll get him back.”

Miami (7-13, 3-12 ACC) committed four turnovers in the first three minutes, while the Yellow Jackets went 5-of-6 from the floor at the other end and raced out to a 12-0 lead. Georgia Tech (11-8, 7-6 ACC) continued its blistering shooting and stingy defense the rest of the half and took a 48-18 lead into the locker room.

Junior guard Michael Devoe scored 16 first-half points for the Yellow Jackets, finishing 6-of-6 from the floor, including 4-of-4 on 3-pointers. As a team, Georgia Tech went 19-of-30 (63.3 percent) and forced 13 turnovers.

The Hurricanes went down by 36 points, 64-28, with 14:26 to go, but outscored the Yellow Jackets by nine the rest of the way to set the final margin.

Senior guard Elijah Olaniyi paced Miami with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting and added a team-high seven rebounds, while sophomore forward Anthony Walker scored 16 points.

Redshirt senior center Nysier Brooks totaled 12 points and a career-high four assists, as well as set new career bests in free throws both made (eight) and attempted (10).

Devoe finished with 29 points, the most by a Miami foe this season, on 11-of-16 shooting, including a 7-of-11 clip from 3-point range. Senior guard Jose Alvarado had 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting and added a game-high six assists.

Senior forward Moses Wright logged 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and grabbed a game-best 12 rebounds to register a double-double.

Georgia Tech, which totaled 22 assists, concluded the afternoon 36-of-63 from the floor, good for a 57.1 percent mark that is the highest Miami has conceded in 2020-21. It also tallied a 24-7 margin in points off turnovers and a 48-26 edge in paint points.

The Hurricanes are back in action Wednesday night against No. 16 Florida State, with action set to be televised live from the Watsco Center, beginning at 8:30 p.m. 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 2020-21 Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball season is presented by First National Bank.

MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
– The Hurricanes moved to 14-11 all-time against Georgia Tech, including 7-5 at home and 7-5 in Larrañaga’s tenure.
– Larrañaga, who entered the game with the 11th-most victories of any active Division I coach, is now 667-460 in 37 years as a head coach, including 197-126 in 10 seasons at Miami.
– For the second time this season, Miami used a starting lineup of Brooks, Olaniyi, Walker, Wong and redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty.
– After using a new lineup in each of the last six games, Saturday marked the first time since 1/19/21 at Syracuse that Miami went with a starting group it has already utilized this year.
– Miami once again played without senior guard Chris Lykes (left ankle), redshirt senior center Rodney Miller Jr. (right knee, season), freshman guard Earl Timberlake (left shoulder, season) and redshirt senior forward Sam Waardenburg (left foot, season).
– In addition, the Hurricanes were without sophomore guard Harlond Beverly, who is out indefinitely with a lingering back injury, as announced prior to tip-off.
– Before trailing by 30 at the break Saturday, Miami’s prior largest halftime deficit of the season was 18 points, 32-14, on 12/8/20 against Purdue in a game the Hurricanes won, 58-54.
– The 27-point margin is the Hurricanes’ largest setback of the season, one greater than its 26-point defeat on 1/19/21 at Syracuse.
– Miami’s 18 first-half points marked its second time tallying under 20 in a frame this second, joining the 14 it had versus the Boilermakers.
– Prior to recording 13 in the opening 20 minutes Saturday, the Hurricanes had double-digit turnovers just twice in 2020-21, with a previous high of 11 on 12/29/20 at No. 24/RV Virginia Tech.
– Georgia Tech’s nine first-half turnovers eclipsed the prior top mark by a Miami opponent in a half by three, as five teams previously logged six.
– The Yellow Jackets’ 48 first-half points are the most Miami has conceded before the break—the prior high was 44 on 1/12/21 at Boston College—and the second-most in any half, trailing the 51 it allowed on 1/16/20 in a win over No. 16/18 Louisville.
– Georgia Tech set an opponent high with 19 made field goals in the first half, surpassing the prior top number of 18, which Miami conceded in the second halves on both 1/19/21 at Syracuse and on 1/27/21 at No. 16 Florida State.
– The Yellow Jackets became the first team to shoot over 50 percent in the first half against Miami and registered the second-best clip in any half against the Hurricanes this season, trailing only the 65.4 percent (17-of-26) mark set by Notre Dame on 1/24/21.
– The previous top field goal percentage in a game by a Miami foe this season was a 53.8 (28-of-52) mark tallied by the Fighting Irish in that same game.
– Georgia Tech became the second team to eclipse 20 assists versus Miami this year, joining No. 16 Virginia Tech, which recorded 25 in an overtime affair on 2/6/21.
– Prior to Devoe totaling 29 points, the top mark by a Hurricane opponent this year was 27 by Boston College’s Rich Kelly on 1/12/21.
– In addition, Devoe’s seven made 3-pointers matched Kelly’s mark for the most the Hurricanes have allowed and his 11 made field goals tied the total of Louisville’s Carlik Jones on 1/16/21, with the numbers also tying for second and third, respectively, by any ACC player this season.
– Olaniyi, in his 75th start, eclipsed both 3,000 minutes played and 550 rebounds as a collegian.
– Olaniyi, who attempted a season-high eight free throws, notched double-digit points for the 69th time, including the 10th at Miami.
– McGusty, who surpassed 400 made field goals in his career, tied a season high with four assists.
– Walker, who moved past 750 minutes played and reached 250 points as a Hurricane, scored in double digits for the 10th time, including the ninth in 2020-21.
– Walker tied the highest scoring total of his career in ACC play, previously recorded on 2/1/21 against Duke.
– Brooks, who surpassed both 150 made free throws and 250 free-throw attempts as a collegian, tallied double-digit points for the 20th time, including the sixth at Miami.
– Brooks’ prior top mark in free throws made was seven on 12/22/18 against South Carolina State and his previous high in attempts was nine on 1/5/19 versus East Carolina, both while at Cincinnati.
– In addition, Brooks eight made free throws tied for the most by a Hurricane this season and his 10 attempts equaled the second-highest mark.
– Senior guard Willie Herenton played a career-high 20 minutes, the most by a Miami walk-on since the Hurricanes joined the ACC in 2004-05.
– Redshirt junior forward Deng Gak grabbed six rebounds, a new season high and a new top mark in ACC play.