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MBB Drops Road Decision at No. 21/20 Virginia, 62-51

MBB Drops Road Decision at No. 21/20 Virginia, 62-51

by Alex Schwartz

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team fell, 62-51, to No. 21/20 Virginia, the reigning national champion, Monday night at John Paul Jones Arena.

Despite once again playing with only six available scholarship players, the Hurricanes turned in a strong defensive performance, but could not score enough at the other end to pull the upset. Redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty paced the team with 14 points in the road setback.

“Well, we played 35 good minutes. The last four or five minutes of the first half just killed us,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We turned the ball over, gave them some easy baskets and that was the difference in the game.”

The Hurricanes held Virginia (16-6, 12-4 ACC) to 4-of-14 shooting to open the night, but the Cavaliers then made five straight shots during a 12-5 run to go in front, 24-20, after exactly 12 minutes. Miami (7-16, 3-15 ACC) answered with six points in a row to take a 26-24 lead with 5:29 on the first-half clock.

Shortly thereafter, though, Virginia went on a 12-0 surge, capped with back-to-back 3-pointers by redshirt senior forward Sam Hauser, to go in front, 39-28, with 1:14 to go. Its edge remained at 11, 41-30, at the intermission.

After the Cavaliers tallied the first basket of the second half to take a game-high 13-point lead, Miami held them scoreless for five minutes and scored seven straight points to trim the deficit to six, 43-37, with 12:43 to play.

The Cavaliers eventually worked their advantage up to 11, but five straight Miami points again made it a six-point margin, 55-49, with 3:07 remaining. The Hurricanes, though, could not claw any closer and eventually dropped an 11-point result.

“I think our effort is good. It’s the fatigue factor; we can’t sustain it for all 40 minutes,” Larrañaga said. “I think that was a big part of how they got the lead at the end of the first and even when we made our runs and got it a little closer in the second half, we just don’t have the bodies to keep the pressure on them.”

McGusty’s 14 points came on 6-of-11 shooting and he added five rebounds. Senior guard Elijah Olaniyi notched 12 points and six rebounds, while sophomore guard Isaiah Wong totaled 10 points and six boards.

Sophomore forward Anthony Walker finished just shy of a double-double, tallying eight points and a career-high-tying 10 rebounds, the latter mark leading all players.

Hauser scored a game-high 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting for the Cavaliers, including a 4-of-9 clip from deep. Junior guard Trey Murphy III was the lone other Virginia player to log double digits in the scoring column, registering 12 points.

Both teams shot under 41 percent from the field and over 87 percent from the line, but 3-point marks proved to be a key difference. Miami went 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) and Virginia posted an 8-of-22 (36.4 percent) mark from long range.

The Hurricanes wrap up the regular season Friday at 6 p.m., when they host Boston College at the Watsco Center, 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 2020-21 Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball season is presented by First National Bank.

MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
– The Hurricanes moved to 12-13 all-time against Virginia, including 4-8 on the road and 2-3 in Larrañaga’s tenure.
– Larrañaga, who entered the game with the 11th-most victories of any active Division I coach, is now 667-463 in 37 years as a head coach, including 197-129 in 10 seasons at Miami.
– The Hurricanes, since the 1985-86 program rebirth, are now 5-9 against reigning NCAA champions, including 3-6 in ACC play and 2-3 under Larrañaga.
– For the fifth time this season and fourth game in a row, Miami used a starting lineup of McGusty, Olaniyi, Walker, Wong and redshirt senior center Nysier Brooks.
– For the fourth straight game, Miami played without five scholarship players, all of whom are out for the season, due to injury: sophomore guard Harlond Beverly (back), senior guard Chris Lykes (left ankle), redshirt senior center Rodney Miller Jr. (right knee), freshman guard Earl Timberlake (left shoulder) and redshirt senior forward Sam Waardenburg (left foot).
– The Hurricanes wore throwback jerseys, courtesy of adidas, against Virginia that paid homage to Miami’s teams of the late 1990’s, including the 1999-2000 squad that won a share of the BIG EAST regular season title and reached the Sweet 16.
– After 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) from the floor, Virginia went 10-of-15 (66.7 percent) over the final 12:01 of the first half.
– Wong notched double digits in the scoring column for the 30th time, including the 20th this year.
– Wong, despite averaging over 35 minutes per game, recorded four turnovers in a contest for the first time this season and notched three turnovers in a half (first) for just the third.
– Walker registered double-digit rebounds for the fifth time, all of which have come this season.
– Olaniyi scored in double figures for the 71st time, including the 12th as a Hurricane.
– McGusty tallied double-digit points for the 59th time, including the 10th in 2020-21.
– Brooks surpassed 2,000 minutes played as a collegian.