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Miami Falls to Florida State, 84-75

Miami Falls to Florida State, 84-75

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team (12-5, 3-3 ACC) faced an 84-75 setback against the Florida State Seminoles (11-6, 5-1 ACC) Wednesday night at the Watsco Center.

The Hurricanes rallied from down 16 in the second half to cut the deficit to two with five minutes to play, but ultimately could not complete the comeback.

“You have to give Florida State a lot of credit, coming and playing the way they did,” head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “Their size just bothered us. They’re long and athletic and anytime we were not able to put a lot of pressure on them, they threw the ball right to the rim…Overall, towards the end of the game we just couldn’t keep them off the foul line.”

Fourth-year junior Nijel Pack led the Hurricanes in scoring, pouring in 19 points for his 11th double-digit outing of the season. Fifteen of Pack’s 19 points came in the second half as the guard was 6-of-11 from the field.

Fourth-year junior forward Norchad Omier recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds, while juniors Wooga Poplar and Bensley Joseph joined him in double-digits with 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Florida State dominated the paint in the first half, as 30 of its 45 first-half points came in the interior. The Seminoles put together a 9-2 run midway through the frame to take their first double-digit lead of the game, 30-20, at the 9:45 mark.

The Seminole defense kept Miami scoreless for almost five minutes until freshman Michael Nwoko got on the board with an and-one bucket. The Hurricanes scored seven of the final nine points in the half, but Florida State ultimately used a 51 percent first-half shooting effort to take a 45-35 lead at halftime.

Florida State started the second half on an 8-2 to take its largest lead of the game, 53-37, just three minutes into the frame. However, the threes started falling for the Hurricanes as Pack connected on a pair of 3-pointers to highlight a 20-6 Miami run and pull the Hurricanes to within two, 59-57, with 11:22 to play.

Florida State responded with a 9-2 run to extend its lead back to nine, but Pack and Omier combined for a 9-2 run of their own to cut the deficit back to two. Ultimately, fouls caught up to the Hurricanes and Florida State totaled seven made free throws in the final five minutes to solidify the 84-75 victory.

Miami returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Syracuse to take on the Orange in the Carrier Dome. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN2.