The Miami Hurricanes (11-12, 3-10) kept it neck and neck in the first half, down 50-47. However, The Hurricanes couldn’t compete versus an extremely deep Florida State Team, despite the returns of Junior Guards Chris Lykes and Kameron McGusty, falling 81-99.
Lykes (groin) and McGusty (back spasms) were rusty in their returns off the bench, in limited minutes. Lykes had missed the past four games and McGusty missed three out of the last four after scoring 3 points in 22 minutes versus Virginia Tech.
Lykes shot 3-9 and scored 8 points. McGusty was scoreless in eight minutes.
Despite the returns of the 2 leading scorers for the Hurricanes, the injur trouble did not come to an end. Starting Center Rodney Miller (ankle) did not travel with the team. Miller was certainly missed in the post and on the glass. The Seminoles outscored Miami 34-26 in the paint and out-rebounded UM 46-24.
Freshman Isaiah Wong set a career-high in points with 23. The New Jersey native scored at least 10 points for the fifth consecutive game. Wong joins fellow Freshman Harlond Beverly as one of five true Freshman to score 20+ points in a game. Beverly continued his high-scoring stretch that begun on Jan 25. Beverly finished with 14 points, but shot 3-13 from the field.
The Miami Hurricanes rellied to heavy on the pair of Freshman to lead UM past an extremely deep Seminole team. Without true production from Lykes and McGusty, and starting center Miller Jr, there is no way the Hurricanes can hang with the No. 8 team in the country for 40 minutes.
Miami fell apart in the second half after a very strong first half. The Canes shot over 51% from the field, but so did FSU. As already stated, there is no way an short-handed UM team can compete with Florida State.
Florida State shot 53% from the field, and 50% (13-26) from the thee-point line. Miami’s defense was exposed with Miller Jr, without help downlow, poor help defense led to easy corner threes. M.J. Walker and Patrick Williams led the Noles with 14 points. FSU had 13 players score, and 4 in double digits.
If only Miami had 13 players on the team.
With the fire power from FSU, their lead grew to as much as 22 points with 2:57 left. FSU advances to 20-3, and 10-2 in ACC play. The Seminoles travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on No. 7 Duke.
The Hurricanes schedule gets easier from here on out. UM is at home for the next two, as they face Boston College (12-12, 6-7) on Wednesday and Wake Forest (10-13, 3-10) on Saturday.
The U fall to below .500 for the first time since the opening night loss to Louisville. Thankfully, Miami does not face another ranked opponent all season, and play 4 out of their last 7 games at the Watsco Center. Without any setbacks (unlikely), Miami could hed into the ACC Tournament with momentum, and make noise.