Miami loses overtime nail-biter to NC State

Fourth-year guard Isaiah Wong shoots a jump shot during Miami's game against North Carolina State on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the PNC Arena. Photo credit: Tessa Mortensen & Miami Athletics

The University of Miami men’s basketball team was defeated by the North Carolina State (NC State) Wolfpack on Saturday afternoon at PNC Arena.

The Hurricanes (14-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)) were able to come back from a 10-point halftime deficit to force overtime, but it was ultimately not enough, as the Wolfpack (14-4, 4-3 ACC) prevailed in overtime, 83-81.

“I thought that was a very entertaining college game. Both teams played very hard and, I’d say, very well, for the most part. It comes down to the overtime,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We just had too many turnovers for the game. We only have five assists with 17 turnovers. I would prefer the opposite.”

After a closely contested 15:30 of basketball in the first half, NC State went on a 14-4 scoring run to close out the half and take a 42-32 lead at the break. The ‘Canes shot the ball well, at a 56% clip from the field, but their nine turnovers proved costly, especially since they only forced three.

The second half saw the two teams counter each other with scoring runs. Miami started with an 8-0 run to cut the Wolfpack’s lead to two, but NC State responded with an 11-2 run to push its lead to nine.

The Hurricanes answered again with a 19-6 run to take a four-point lead with 8:20 left in the game.

A 6-1 scoring run by NC State gave the Wolfpack a 65-64 lead, but Miami tallied the next four points to retake the lead, 68-65. NC State countered with an 8-2 run to go up 73-70 with just 55 seconds remaining in the second half.

Then, with 27 seconds left, fifth-year senior Jordan Miller nailed a game-tying 3-pointer, and the ‘Canes got a defensive stop to force overtime.

Miami struck first in overtime, leading 81-78 with 2:13 remaining, but NC State struck back, scoring the next five points, including a free throw with 18 seconds remaining, to take an 83-81 lead. The Wolfpack stopped Miami on their final offensive possession and held on to win.

Turnovers doomed the ‘Canes as they coughed the ball up 17 times compared to only four times for NC State. They were also outplayed on the offensive glass, as the Wolfpack grabbed 15 offensive rebounds while Miami only mustered four of its own. This led to NC State attempting 24 more shots than Miami, a key statistic in the two-point loss for the Hurricanes.

Fourth-year junior Isaiah Wong led UM in scoring with 25 points, 18 of which came in the second half. Wong also grabbed six rebounds and shot an excellent 7-of-9 from the field.

Third-year sophomore Norchad Omier recorded 13 points and 13 rebounds for the second straight game while also blocking five shots in his 40 minutes played.

Veteran guard Jordan Miller and sophomore Besley Joseph scored 13 and 11 points, respectively, in the loss.

The ACC’s leading scorer, sophomore guard Terquavion Smith, led the Wolfpack in scoring with 20 points, but only shot 7-of-20 from the field and 2-of-9 from behind the 3-point line.

Smith was followed in scoring by sophomore forward Ernest Ross, who had 17 points. Ross also grabbed nine rebounds, which was tied for the most on the team with forward D.J. Burns Jr., who also scored 13 points and dished out a game-best seven assists. Graduate student Jarkel Joiner added 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting from the field.

Miami will be back in action on Monday when it takes on the Syracuse Orange at the Watsco Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., and the game will air on TV on ACC Network.