In heartbreaking fashion, the Miami Hurricanes (11-10, 3-8) lost their 5th of their last 6 games, falling to the Pittsburgh Panthers (14-8, 5-6).
In their second matchup of the season, Sophmore Xavier Johnson led Pitt with 13 points and 6 assists to even the series at 1-1.
After falling to a 24-33 deficit at the half, Dejan Vasiljevic led a 16-6 run to give the Canes a 40-39 lead with 12:54 to play.
With 1:55 left to play, Freshman Harland Beverly cut the Pittsburgh lead to just 1 with a layup. Beverly had a chance to take the lead with 1:08 remaining but missed his three-point attempt.
Xavier Johnson extended the lead to 3 for Pitt with 40 seconds to play. Beverly hit 2 free-throws to cut it again to 1 with just 0:16 on the clock.
Trey McGowens was fouled and hit both free-throws to keep the lead at 57-60. Dejan Vasiljevic couldn’t convert from three with 5 seconds left.
McGowens went back to the line and hit both free-throws again to ice the game. Pittsburgh won 57-62.
Both Miami and Pittsburgh were short-handed
Pittsburgh was without guard Ryan Murphy with a concussion injury. Murphy is averaging 10.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in his junior season with the Panthers
The Canes were missing their leading scorer in Chris Lykes (groin) and Junior transfer Kameron McGusty (back spasms). Lykes has missed the last three games while McGusty has missed 2 of the last 3.
Despite the absences of two of their top players, freshmen Harlond Beverly and Isaiah Wong have stepped up in the starting lineup.
Beverly finished the game with 11 points and 5 rebounds. Wong had 15 points and 2 rebounds. Both played 35+ minutes.
Sam Waardenburg has gone missing
In the previous 4 games, three with out starting point guard Chris Lykes, Sam Waardenburg has played some of his worst basketball of the season.
Against 8th ranked Duke, Waardenburg had 0 points on 0-2 shooting in 29 minutes of action.
In the road loss vs North Carolina, Waardenburg has 2 points in 27 minutes on 0-4 shooting.
Once again on Sunday, Waardenburg was nowhere to be found, finishing with 5 points on 1-6 shooting, 0-4 from three. Waardenburg was the only starter to not score double-digit points.
Rebounds killed the Canes
On a night where starting center Rodney Miller Jr. finishes with just 4 rebounds and Dejan Vasiljevic leads the team with 9, its not gonna end well for the Canes.
The Hurricanes were out-rebounded 31-40, allowing 17 offensive boards while the Canes had just 7.
Because of these offensive rebounds, Pittsburgh took 66 shots compared to Miami only attempting 49.
The Pittsburgh Panthers will look to start a winning-streak as they take on Notre Dane on the road this Wednesday.
Following another loss, the Miami Hurricanes will be back in action at home this Wednesday against NC State.