Miami blows late lead, falls to Pitt 71-68

Guard Isaiah Wong drives to the basket during Miami's game against Pittsburgh on Jan. 28. Photo credit: Tessa Mortensen (Miami Athletics)

Miami men’s basketball gave up an 11-point second half lead against the Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday afternoon at the Petersen Events Center, losing 71-68. Pittsburgh scored 11 straight points in the last two minutes to overtake the Hurricanes, which had three turnovers in the same amount of time.

Miami, which led for nearly 28 minutes of action, played great basketball until the final moments of the game, when the Panthers upped their intensity on both sides of the court.

“We played very well in the first half,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We led almost until the bitter end, [but then Pittsburgh] came back and made some big plays, and we obviously weren’t able to hold on to the lead. [The Panthers] deserve all the credit.”

The victory is Pittsburgh’s (15-7, 8-3 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)) first against the ‘Canes since December of 2020, and just its third win in their last 10 games against Miami (16-5, 7-4 ACC).

The Panthers’ Blake Hinson and Jamarius Burton led the way for Pittsburgh in terms of scoring, with 21 and 19 points, respectively. Hinson hit 5 of his 11 3-point attempts, including one with 1:35 left in the game that cut Miami’s lead to three. Burton made a tip-in with 33 seconds left to give the Panthers the lead for good.

Up until the last two minutes of the game, the ‘Canes had played exceptional basketball. Star guard Isaiah Wong hit several contested shots throughout the game and ended up scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds. Guard Jordan Miller led Miami with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, 14 of which came in the first half.

The first half featured a 15-2 Miami run that helped give them a 33-28 lead at halftime. Right before the break, Hinson hit a 3-point jumper as time expired. The jumper ended up being the difference in the contest.

Miami’s loss is its third consecutive defeat on a Saturday – the ‘Canes fell to both Duke and NC State by a bucket the previous two weeks. All three of the losses were on the road, and Miami is just 4-4 away from the Watsco Center this season.

With this Hurricanes team poised to enter the NCAA tournament, the road losses are a cause for concern about their ceiling in March.

Miami looks to get back to its winning ways against the Virginia Tech Hokies on Tuesday night at the Watsco Center. The ‘Canes look to stay undefeated at home when the match tips off at 7 p.m.

+ posts