Miami Defeats Virginia Tech for First Road Win
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team (12-4, 3-2 ACC) recorded its first true road win of the season on Saturday, defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies (10-6, 2-3 ACC), 75-71, in Cassell Coliseum.
The game featured eight ties, 10 lead changes and was a single-digit game for the duration of the second half. Ultimately, Miami used a 65 percent second-half shooting effort to take the victory and move to 3-2 in ACC play.
Junior Matthew Cleveland led the Hurricanes on offense, pouring in 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting to surpass the 1,000-point mark in his career. This was Cleveland’s fourth 20-point game of the season.
Fourth-year junior Nijel Pack (19), fourth-year junior Norchad Omier (14) and junior Wooga Poplar (11) all joined Cleveland in double-figures. Pack led the Hurricanes on the board with eight rebounds, tying his career high.
The Hokies were dominant from 3-point range to start the game, connecting on three 3-pointers in the first four minutes of action to take an early 11-5 lead. Virginia Tech extended its lead to as much as nine in the first half but Miami closed the half on an 8-0 run to make it a one-point, 30-29, game heading into the break.
Cleveland poured in 12 points in the first half alone, none bigger than his final bucket of the half, which put him over the 1,000-point plateau in his career.
Miami carried its offensive momentum into the second half, starting the frame on a 12-4 run to take its first lead since 18:15 mark in the first half. However, the Hokies clawed their way right back into the game to tie the game at 46-all halfway through the second half.
Neither team led by more than five in the final 10 minutes of the game, with the game ultimately being decided in the final minute of the game.
Up three with four seconds to play, Miami’s Pack sunk one-of-two at the free throw line to seal the 75-71 victory for the Hurricanes.
Miami returns to the Watsco Center on Jan. 17 to host in-state foe Florida State. Tipoff in Coral Gables is set for 7 p.m. and the game will air on ACC Network.