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Miami Outlasts Pittsburgh, 72-68

Miami Outlasts Pittsburgh, 72-68

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team (14-6, 5-4 ACC) outlasted the Pittsburgh Panthers (12-8, 3-6 ACC), 72-68, Saturday afternoon at the Watsco Center.

“That was a great college basketball game,” head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “Our last three games have come down to the final shot and fortunately we won two out of those three. The starters did a great job and then Michael Nwoko came in off the bench and did a terrific job in his minutes. One of the key performers was Paul Djobet…he has a great attitude and a great work ethic…We tried Paul and he did a great job.”

Fourth-year junior Norchad Omier led the Hurricanes in scoring and rebounding against Pittsburgh, totaling 18 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.

Fourth-year junior Nijel Pack and junior Wooga Poplar joined Omier in double-figures with 17 points apiece. Freshman Kyshawn George tied his career high on the boards, hauling in eight rebounds in the game to go along with 11 points.

The Miami offense got off to a hot start connecting on five of their first seven field goal attempts to take an early 12-7 lead. The Hurricanes kept their foot on the gas, putting together a 17-2 run midway through the frame, highlighted by four straight 3-pointers, to carry a 40-29 lead into the locker room at the half.

George kept the 3-point brigade going for the Hurricanes, opening the second half with his second three of the game. Poplar knocked down his first three shots of the frame to put Miami up, 58-39, with 11:19 to play.

Pittsburgh responded with a 13-4 run to cut Miami’s advantage to single-digits, 66-60, for the first time since the 2:28 mark in the first half. The Panthers continued to chip away, making it a two-point game with 10 seconds to play and the ball in their hands.

However, the Miami defense made its biggest stand of the game as Omier blocked a 3-point attempt from Pittsburgh’s Jaland Lowe to get the ball back with two seconds to play.

George then sunk a pair of free throws to secure the 72-68 victory for the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes hit the road on Tuesday to take on the NC State Wolfpack in Raleigh, N.C. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN2.