A sold-out crowd, including the third-largest student turnout in program history, packed the Watsco Center on Monday night to witness Miami men’s basketball face the Duke Blue Devils for the second time this year.
The Hurricanes lost by one basket in their first matchup at Cameron Indoor Stadium, but this time the result was not close.
Miami never trailed, as it improved its home record to 13-0 after a dominant 81-59 victory over Duke.
“That was a great performance from start to finish,” head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “Got us off to a great start and had a lot of energy.”
The Hurricanes were led in scoring by forward Norchad Omier, who had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Jordan Miller added 16 points, and sophomore Wooga Poplar had 14.
Center Derrick Lively II led the Blue Devils in scoring with 11 points, while guard Jeremy Roach netted 10.
Duke (17-7, 8-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) turned the ball over 21 times, leading to 23 points on the other end by Miami (19-5, 10-4 ACC). The ‘Canes also grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, allowing them to take 13 more shots than the Blue Devils.
“Duke’s strength is offensive rebounding and if you can limit them, that’s really important,” Larrañaga said. “Norchad is going to go after every rebound offensively and defensively, but when the other guys are chipping into that category, you win by a lot of points.”
A 3-pointer from Omier followed by a dunk from guard Isaiah Wong quickly got the crowd roaring to start the game. Duke missed its first four field goal attempts as the ‘Canes jumped out to a 13-1 lead three minutes in with the help of a raucous crowd.
Through the first 10 minutes, Miami led 19-7 because of the Blue Devils’ poor shooting and six turnovers.
The ‘Canes kept a double-digit lead for the majority of the first 20 minutes. A pair of free throws by Wong gave the Hurricanes a 17-point advantage nearing the end of the first half. Duke cut the deficit slightly, but a last-second alley-oop from guard Nijel Pack to Omier gave Miami a 40-26 lead entering the break.
Senior Jordan Miller led the ‘Canes in first-half scoring with 14 points. He was followed in scoring by Omier, who had 10 points and seven rebounds.
For the Blue Devils, center Kyle Filipowski led the way in the first frame with nine points and nine rebounds, five of which came on the offensive glass.
A 9-0 run by the Hurricanes to begin the second half gave the ‘Canes a 23-point lead, and they never looked back.
Duke never got within striking distance, as the ‘Canes took their largest lead of the game at 76-50 with just under five minutes remaining.
Miami ended up with a 22-point win, the second largest victory over Duke in program history.
The Hurricanes’ next game is against the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday at the Watsco Center. Tip–off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ACC Network.