Poor shooting dooms Hurricanes in road loss to N.C. State

Junior guard Nijel Pack driving past half court during Miami’s 74-68 loss to N.C. State on Jan 30. Photo credit: Miami Athletics

The Miami Hurricanes have nobody to blame but themselves.

During a late-night showdown in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Hurricanes had a chance to stretch their win streak to three. Instead, the Hurricanes came out of PNC Arena with a 74-68 loss on Tuesday evening.

With no Matt Cleveland due to a lingering hip injury for the second straight game, coach Larrañaga inserted freshman Kyshawn George back into the starting lineup.

Miami had every opportunity to win this game. Miami shot an abysmal 19 percent from 3 in the first half and a subpar 36 percent overall. Despite this, Miami had a chance to win the game and even took the lead down the stretch. This lead was short-lived, however, as they only led this contest for a total of 1:48.

“We just didn’t shoot the ball very well,” said coach Larrañaga. “A lot of credit to their defense, but some were point-blank shots, wide open, right at the rim and we missed.”

The team was lucky to be in the game after nine first-half turnovers. But even with their best efforts to give the game to N.C. State, Miami trailed by only four at the half.

Junior forward Norchad Omier played well in his second game after he returned from injury. The Nicaraguan native notched his Division 1 leading 11th double-double of the season as he paced the ‘Canes with 12 rebounds to go along with 18 points.

If not for the efforts of junior point guard Nijel Pack, the ‘Canes would have had no business being in this game. Pack shot a heinous 7-13 from the field and 3-6 from beyond the arc to keep the ‘Canes in the game with his 23 second-half points.

There needed to be more than the combined efforts of Miami’s stars. The ‘Canes missed too many scoring opportunities, which kept the Wolfpack lead out of reach. N.C. State did just enough to survive and capitalized on Miami’s mistakes.

The ‘Canes had a tough time containing the Wolfpack’s Senior guard, DJ Horne, who was the leading scorer for the Wolfpack coming into the game. Horne burned the ‘Canes last night to the tune of 24 points, leading all scorers, including 16 in the second half.

On a positive note, Miami was able to dominate on the boards for once. The team put forth a much better rebounding effort than in games past. The ‘Canes grabbed more boards than the Wolfpack, a tally of 46-31.

While injuries are an excuse the ‘Canes can hide behind, inconsistent play still haunts this team. Miami is running out of time to keep their NCAA tournament dreams alive. Their next few games are almost must-win.

Miami returns home to face off against the Virginia Tech Hokies next Saturday. This ACC matchup will tip-off at noon local time and air on ESPN/ACCN.

All stats and data via ESPN and StatsBroadcast unless otherwise noted.