Seminoles pull away from Hurricanes in second half


The Atlantic Coast Conference is a beast this year. Like usual, but more so. Higher-ranked teams have lost on the road with greater regularity.

Unfortunately for the Miami Hurricanes, they didn’t play their part in that narrative Wednesday night.

Miami (14-7, 4-5 ACC) lost to No. 15 Florida State 75-57, with the visitors holding a rolling rally in the Watsco Center and the home team looking as inconsistent as ever.

There was plenty of rivalry-born flavor in the building, like sometimes-profane crowd chants. The healthy contingent of Seminoles fans had the final say, gloating as the building began to empty late in the second half.

But put that aside. Miami had the No. 15 team at home, and a seven-point lead late in the first half, and the sold-out place (7,972) energized, smelling an upset.

That’s why the Canes may eventually recall it as a missed opportunity to add a key piece to their NCAA tournament résumé.

This loss came from a 19-4 FSU run, which Miami surrendered from the final minute of the first half through the first eight of the second. It went scoreless for more than six minutes. Miami fell behind by as many as 11 in that stretch, before FSU blew it open by 22 late.

The Hurricanes couldn’t hit a big shot or get the stops to overcome the Seminoles (19-4, 7-3). It was shades of their Jan. 21 loss at No. 18 Duke, when they led by 11 at halftime but lost by 12.

“The teams we’re playing are great teams,” UM coach Jim Larranaga said. “They have the ability — just like we do.”

That’s the maddening thing about this youthful, shorthanded Miami team, which goes about seven deep and has just two seniors. It did a lot of good. It drove right at FSU’s taller defenders to pick up fouls, often beat the man-to-man press the Noles employed, and made 17-of-22 free throws.

But the Hurricanes hit just 2-of-11 3s, the last of which came late in a rout, and assisted five of their 19 baskets. Key ballhandlers Ja’Quan Newton and Bruce Brown combined for nine of Miami’s 14 turnovers.

“We couldn’t make passes,” Larranaga said. “We tried and couldn’t get the ball to them.”

Brown, the freshman guard who scored 30 points in Miami’s win over No. 9 North Carolina last Saturday, finished with 17 points, on 4-of-10 shooting, and five rebounds.

“They just packed the lane,” Brown said. “We couldn’t get in the lane and have easy opportunities. Their length messed us up a little bit.”

Newton and Davon Reed added 12 points each.

Two of the Seminoles’ several NBA draft prospects, 6-10 freshman Jonathan Isaac and 6-7 guard Dwayne Bacon, led their team with 15.

Aside from last week’s win over UNC and a road blowout at Pittsburgh, UM’s eye-grabbing nights are few. Nine ACC games remain before the ACC Tournament (March 7-11 in Brooklyn). North Carolina State awaits Saturday in Raleigh.

FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said he thinks as many as 11 ACC teams could make the NCAA Tournament, even carrying as many as 10 losses. The Hurricanes would like to avoid that territory, but it’s well within reach.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Pilot wins first game, Tonkawa, Modere remain undefeated at Barry Cup

Curtis Pilot, making his debut in 20-goal polo this season at International Polo Club Palm Beach, got his first career win in the Joe Barry Cup with the team that bears his name. After back-to-back losses, the team Pilot, led by brothers Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres and 16-year-old Timmy Dutta, defeated Grand Champions Polo Club, 15-12, Sunday at International...
Michaels-Beerbaum wins first Saturday Night Lights event of season
Michaels-Beerbaum wins first Saturday Night Lights event of season

Three-time Olympian Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum of Germany and Calle 67 won the $70,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance Grand Prix CSI 2 late Saturday night. Michaels-Beerbaum and her 9-year-old Westphalian gelding topped a field of 45 riders, including nine in the jump-off, with the fastest clear round of 36.85 seconds. Lillie Keenan, at 21 one of the...
Pair of former Oklahoma players headed to Super Bowl
Pair of former Oklahoma players headed to Super Bowl

Two former Oklahoma football players will be on the field when the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots go at it in Super Bowl LII next month in Minneapolis, Minn. The Sooners will be represented by Philadelphia offensive tackle Lane Johnson and New England defensive end Geneo Grissom — guaranteeing that at least...
Former Baylor WBB star Chameka Scott, 33, dies after battle with cancer
Former Baylor WBB star Chameka Scott, 33, dies after battle with cancer

Danny Kanell takes a predictable shot at SEC on championship Sunday
Danny Kanell takes a predictable shot at SEC on championship Sunday

The “SEC is all propaganda” has become a tired argument for Danny Kanell, but it’s one he insists on making at every opportunity. Even when it’s not accurate. On Sunday afternoon, the former ESPN radio host took a predictable and selective shot at SEC teams for not being among the leaders in championship...
More Stories