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MBB Drops Narrow 80-76 Decision to Top-Seeded Duke in ACC Semis

MBB Drops Narrow 80-76 Decision to Top-Seeded Duke in ACC Semis

by Alex Schwartz

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team fell just short of knocking off Duke for the second time this season.

The fourth-seeded Hurricanes took an early double-digit advantage and led for 15-plus minutes, but the top-seeded and seventh-ranked Blue Devils came back to take an 80-76 victory in the ACC Tournament semifinals Friday night at the Barclays Center. Sixth-year redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty paced Miami (23-10, 14-6 ACC) with a game-best 24 points in the hard-fought setback.

“We played a team with an NBA roster. Those guys will be in the NBA,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “They’ve got the size of an NBA team. They’ve got the physicality of an NBA team. And our guys, despite Duke’s advantage in size and physicality, battled them right down to the last possession. If we made just a couple more free throws or they missed a couple more, we could be going to the championship.”

The Hurricanes used an early 15-2 run in just 3:52 to build a quick 11-point cushion, 18-7, with 13:56 on the first-half clock. Miami started 7-of-10 from the floor, including 4-of-6 beyond the arc, while Duke (28-5, 16-4 ACC) opened 3-of-10, including 1-of-5 on 3-pointers.

The Blue Devils clawed back to even the score at 22 with 7:37 to go in the frame, as Miami posted a 1-of-8 stretch from the floor. The Hurricanes, though, responded with seven straight points in just 74 seconds, taking a 29-22 edge with 5:18 left. Miami eventually upped its margin to eight, 32-24, with 4:18 remaining in the half.

Duke countered with an 8-0 burst, capped with back-to-back 3-pointers by freshman forward AJ Griffin, to level the score at 32 with 1:28 to play in the half. Each side added two more baskets down the stretch and entered the locker room even at 36.

Griffin (15) and fellow freshman forward Paolo Banchero (11) combined for 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting in the first half, while Miami limited the rest of the Blue Devils to 10 points on a 4-of-17 clip and led for 14:52 while trailing for only 32 seconds.

After the Hurricanes scored the first basket of the second half, Griffin and junior forward Wendell Moore Jr., hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put Duke up, 42-38, with 18:23 left. Miami got back within one, but the Blue Devils answered with an 8-2 surge during a streak of seven consecutive made field goals to take a game-high seven-point advantage, 55-48, with 11:31 remaining.

The Hurricanes would not go away, though, using a 10-2 run, capped by six straight points in 67 seconds, to go in front, 62-61, with just 6:05 to go. McGusty concluded the burst with a go-ahead 3-pointer.

Duke answered with an 8-3 run to take a 69-65 lead with 4:13 to play, but third-year sophomore guard Isaiah Wong then went on a personal 4-1 run, scoring all his points at the stripe, to make it 70-69 with just 1:22 left.

Miami, however, could not climb all the way back, as the Blue Devils scored five unanswered points to go ahead by six, 75-69, with 33.7 ticks remaining. The Hurricanes sliced the deficit down to three with 16.8 seconds to go, but Duke closed the game out from the free-throw line. The Blue Devils shot 10-of-12 at the stripe over the final minute.

“Our guys know, we’re a very good basketball team and when we play like we did today, we’ve got a very good chance to beat anybody,” Larrañaga said. “Duke is a top-10 team; we’ve played them twice and the games have come down to four and two points.”

McGusty’s 24 points came on 11-of-19 shooting—one make shy of his career high and good for the second-most in an ACC Tournament game in program history—including 17 points on an 8-of-10 clip in the second half. The Katy, Texas, native added seven rebounds in 38 minutes of action.

Fourth-year junior guard Jordan Miller totaled 17 points and a game-best 13 rebounds, the latter mark matching his season high and tying for the second-most by a Hurricane in an ACC Tournament contest. It marked his second double-double in the last three outings and he added a game-high three steals.

Sixth-year redshirt senior guard Charlie Moore finished with 15 points and a game-best eight assists, the second-most by a Hurricane in the ACC Tournament, in a season-high 39 minutes. Sixth-year redshirt senior forward Sam Waardenburg added eight points and a career-high seven assists, tied for the third-most by a Miami player in the ACC tournament. He also blocked two shots and recorded two steals.

Griffin paced the Blue Devils with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while Banchero logged an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double, adding three blocks. Moore Jr., scored 17 points, while sophomore center Mark Williams chipped in nine points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Duke finished the night with a 17-of-22 mark (77.3 percent) at the free-throw line, while Miami went just 6-of-12 (50.0 percent) after missing six of its first seven attempts.

Miami posted a strong 31-of-66 clip (47.0 percent) from the floor to set a program record for makes in an ACC Tournament affair, but Duke shot 29-of-58 (50.0 percent) at the other end to match the most the program has ever allowed in an ACC Tournament outing.

The Hurricanes now await their destination and seeding for the NCAA Tournament, which will be announced during the NCAA Selection Show, slated for Sunday at 6 p.m., live on CBS.

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

MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
– The Hurricanes moved to 9-23 all-time against Duke, including 0-3 at neutral sites, 0-3 in the ACC Tournament and 7-8 in Larrañaga’s tenure.
– Miami fell to 18-17 all-time in the ACC Tournament, including 12-10 under Larrañaga, 7-15 as a lower seed, 1-1 as the fourth seed, 5-3 as a top-four seed, 11-12 as a single-digit seed, 0-5 versus No. 1 seeds, 12-16 against single-digit seeds, 2-3 in Brooklyn, 3-11 in second games and 0-1 in 1/4 games.
– The Hurricanes moved to 4-4 all-time at the Barclays Center, including regular season affairs.
– Larrañaga, who entered the game with the co-ninth-most victories of any active Division I coach, is now 693-474 in 38 years as a head coach, including 223-140 in 11 seasons at Miami.
– For the 24th time this season, Miami used a starting lineup of McGusty, J. Miller, Moore, Waardenburg and Wong.
– Wong now has 1,203 points in his career, passing Mario Bland (1996-2000) to enter the top 25 on the Hurricanes’ all-time scoring list and become the 25th player in program history to eclipsed 1,200 points.
– McGusty now has 1,196 points at Miami, moving past Malcolm Grant (2009-12), Rusty Parker (1965-68) and Gene Stage (1955-58) to take the No. 27 position on the program’s all-time scoring list.
– With 148 assists on the year, Moore passed Kevin Norris (1996-97) for seventh place on Miami’s single-season leaderboard.
– The Hurricanes moved to 22-4 this season when scoring 65-plus points, including 20-4 when scoring 70-plus.
– The Hurricanes’ 31 made field goals passed their prior ACC Tournament record of 30, recorded four times, most recently one day earlier against Boston College in the quarterfinals.
– Miami recorded 17 assists, tied for its second-most in an ACC Tournament game, equaling the mark on 3/9/21 versus Pittsburgh and trailing only the 18 against Virginia Tech on 3/10/16.
– Duke tied for the fourth-most points against Miami in the ACC Tournament, becoming the fifth team to reach 80.
– The Blue Devils’ 50.0 percent field-goal ledger tied for the third-highest by a Miami foe in the ACC Tournament and marked the sixth time an opponent made at least half its shots.
– Duke’s 29 made field goals matched the ACC Tournament record set thrice against Miami, most recently one day prior by Boston College.
– The Blue Devils registered eight blocks to tie the record by a Hurricane opponent in the ACC Tournament, equaling the number by North Carolina on 3/8/18 and Florida State on 3/9/12.
– This is the second consecutive season McGusty made double-digit field goals in Miami’s ACC Tournament finale, as he shot 10-of-16 in last year’s quarterfinals against Georgia Tech on 3/11/21 in Greensboro, N.C.
– McGusty’s 11 made field goals trail only the 12 by Durand Scott on 3/16/13 against NC State on the program’s ACC Tournament single-game leaderboard.
– With 19 attempts, McGusty matched Guillermo Diaz’s ACC Tournament single-game record, set on 3/10/06 versus Duke.
– J. Miller’s 13 rebounds tied Julian Gamble’s mark on 3/11/10 for the second-most in an ACC Tournament game in program history, behind only the 14 from Anthony King on 3/10/05.
– Moore’s eight assists sit behind only Angel Rodriguez’s nine on 3/10/16 against Virginia Tech on Miami’s ACC Tournament single-game list.
– Waardenburg’s seven assists trail those two numbers and match four others, most recently Anthony Lawrence II’s figure on 3/13/19 against Virginia Tech, for third place on the Hurricanes’ ACC Tournament single-game leaderboard.
– Banchero’s 80.0 percent field-goal clip set a record for a Miami opponent (min. 5 FGM), passing the 75.0 ledger set by North Carolina’s Theo Pinson (9-of-12) on 3/8/18 and NC State’s TJ Warren (6-of-8) on 3/16/13.
– With 105 points in his career in the ACC Tournament, McGusty finished second on the program’s all-time leaderboard, behind only Durand Scott, who had 124 from 2010-13.
– With 33 made field goals in his career in the ACC Tournament, McGusty placed second on Miami’s all-time list, behind only Durand Scott’s 49 from 2010-14.
– McGusty’s 89 field-goal attempts in the ACC Tournament rank second on the Hurricanes’ career leaderboard, behind Durand Scott’s 97 from 2010-14.
– With 34 3-point field-goal attempts in ACC Tournament play, McGusty tied Davon Reed’s career mark from 2014-17 for fourth place at Miami.
– Waardenburg finished with eight blocks in his career in the ACC Tournament, good for fourth-most all-time at Miami.
– With 69 field-goal attempts in the ACC Tournament in his career, Wong ranks fourth on the program’s all-time list.
– Wong now has 23 made free throws in the ACC Tournament, good for fourth-most on Miami’s career list.
– Miami has played just two games this season that featured a tie score at halftime, both against Duke.
– The Hurricanes shot just 1-of-5 from the line in the first half, while the Blue Devils made all three of their attempts.
– Both teams made 15 field goals in the first session, with Miami doing so on 33 attempts compared to 31 for Duke, but the Hurricanes went 5-of-11 from deep and the Blue Devils shot 3-of-9 beyond the arc.
– Prior to Friday, the last team with two double-digit rebounders against Miami was Virginia Tech on 2/19/20 when Landers Nolley II (11) and Tyrece Radford (10) did so in a triple-overtime game.
– The Hurricanes’ last loss in a game they led by 10-plus points was on 2/19/22 against Virginia, the only other time that happened this season.
– Moore played in his 150th game as a collegian and eclipsed both 1,650 points and 200 made 3-pointers, as well as reached 350 rebounds.
– There are now 93 players in NCAA history who have appeared in 150-plus games, 80 of whom hit that number this season.
– Moore scored in double digits for the 80th time, including the 23rd this year.
– Moore posted his 52nd five-assist outing, including his 15th in 2021-22.
– Waardenburg, who moved past 150 assists and reached 75 steals at Miami, notched five-plus assists for the fourth time, including the third in 2021-22.
– Waardenburg tallied five assists in the first half alone, matching his prior career high in a full game, recorded thrice prior, most recently on 2/9/22 against Georgia Tech.
– J. Miller, who eclipsed 600 rebounds as a collegian, scored in double figures for the 65th time, including the 15th this season.
– J. Miller grabbed double-figure rebounds for the 12th time, including the third this year.
– J. Miller registered his ninth double-double, including his second in 2021-22.
– McGusty recorded his 25th 20-point showing, including his 19th as a Hurricane and 12th this season.
– McGusty tallied double-digit points for the 94th time, including the 66th at Miami and 31st this year.
– Third-year sophomore forward Anthony Walker surpassed 500 points as a Hurricane.
– Wong, in his 91st outing, fouled out for the first time in his career.