Miami Faces 74-68 Setback at NC State
RALEIGH, N.C. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team (14-7, 5-5 ACC) could not complete the comeback on Tuesday, falling to the NC State Wolfpack (14-7, 6-4 ACC), 74-68, at PNC Arena.
“We just didn’t shoot the ball very well and a lot of the credit goes to their defense,” head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “Every game is the same. They’re all worth one and we have to bounce back and play well on Saturday.”
Fourth-year junior Nijel Pack registered his third 20-point contest of the season, pouring in a team-leading 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
A pair of Hurricanes recorded double-doubles in the game – Norchad Omier (18 points, 14 rebounds) and junior Wooga Poplar (10 points, 10 rebounds). Omier currently leads all ACC players in double-doubles with 11 on the year.
The Hurricanes outrebounded NC State, 46-31, and freshman Paul Djobet set a new career high in rebounding with six boards in the game.
NC State started the game on a 13-4 run, highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from DJ Horne. However, a dunk by Wooga Poplar sparked a 10-2 run for the Hurricanes, capped by a layup from freshman Michael Nwoko to give Miami its first lead of the day, 20-19.
The lead changed five more times in the final seven minutes of action in the first half with NC State taking a 33-29 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Poplar opened second-half scoring for the Hurricanes with a 3-pointer to pull Miami to within one, but NC State rattled off seven straight points to stretch its lead back to nine, 40-32, at the first media timeout.
Down seven with 15 minutes to play, it was Pack’s time to shine as he scored 10 points in five minutes to tie the game at 50-all at the midway point of the frame. All 23 of Pack’s points came in the second half as the guard was 7-of-14 from the field.
Ultimately, NC State used a 56 percent second-half shooting effort to secure the 74-68 victory.
Miami returns to the Watsco Center on Saturday to host the Virginia Tech Hokies. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN.