‘Canes fall to Duke at Cameron Indoor, 68-66

Guard Jordan Miller goes up for a layup in Miami's game against Duke on Jan. 21 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Photo credit: Tessa Mortensen

The University of Miami men’s basketball team dropped a 68-66 decision against Duke on Saturday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Fifth-year senior guard Jordan Miller was a standout player, earning a game-high 19 points, 13 of which came in the second half.

Third-year sophomore guard Nijel Pack showed out in the first half, hitting his first two 3-pointers to give the ‘Canes (15-4, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)) an early lead. He finished with 18 points on 4 of 9 shooting from beyond the arc.

The Blue Devils (14-5, 5-3 ACC) fired back in the closing two minutes of the first half by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers.

The entirety of the game was tight — neither team led by more than five points in the first half, and the score was tied 38-38 at halftime.

In the second half, Miami hit only 30.9% of its shots while Duke utilized a zone defense.

Miller came out hot after the break, making two 3-pointers and a layup on three straight possessions to put the ‘Canes ahead. However, Duke responded with a 10-0 run as Miami endured a five-minute scoring drought to take an eight-point lead.

The Hurricanes turned up the heat and fought back by making a series of 3-pointers and a three-point play, narrowing their deficit to 64-63 with a little under three minutes remaining.

After a Duke player missed a crucial shot, Miami had a chance to take the lead with 1:45 to play.

The Hurricanes got three shots in the same possession but could not put any of them in the hoop.

Duke secured the rebound with a little over 30 seconds left and scored two more points at the free throw line to go up 68-64 and effectively seal the game.

“I thought we got out of character in the second half; we were taking way too many difficult shots,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “[We had] no assists, everything off the bounce, and I think that led to really good defense by Duke’s team.”

Miami plays next Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the Florida State Seminoles at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, Fla., live on ESPNU.