Miami’s offense neutralized in a 60-38 loss to Virginia

Junior forward Norchad Omier dribbles past freshman forward Blake Buchanan in the Hurricanes’ 60-38 loss to Virginia on Feb 5, 2024. Photo credit: Miami Athletics

Miami’s last two games have summarized its season perfectly.

They’re a team that can get hot instantly and go ice cold just as quickly. A furious 56-point outburst in the second half to shock Virginia Tech on Saturday showed glimpses of how great the Hurricanes can be.

Meanwhile, Monday night’s matchup against the Virginia Cavaliers showed the opposite side. The Canes managed only 38 points in their 60-38 loss to the Virginia Cavaliers, the lowest point total since joining the ACC.

Miami (15-8, 6-6 ACC) shot 29% from the field and 10% from three-point range while committing 11 turnovers in its 22-point loss.

Junior forward Norchad Omier led the scoring for Miami with 11 points on 5-11 shooting while also grabbing 13 rebounds. No other ‘Canes player made more than three field goal attempts.

Conversely, Virginia’s offense did more than enough to win as the Cavaliers shot 48% on field goal attempts, including 5-11 from beyond the arc.

Senior guard Reece Beekman paced Virginia (18-5, 9-3 ACC) in scoring as he poured in 16 points while playing an all-around great game with four rebounds and seven assists.

Although Virginia’s offense was far from explosive throughout most of the game, its defense gave the Hurricanes all sorts of issues on the offensive end, forcing turnovers and contested shots all night.

The Hurricanes began the first frame playing smothering defense as Virginia only knocked down one of its first nine field goal attempts, and Miami held a 7-2 lead six minutes in.

However, the Cavaliers quickly retaliated with a 12-0 run as Miami’s offense depleted. Virginia’s run eventually swelled up to 23-4 over 10 minutes of game time as turnovers and missed shots mounted for the Hurricanes.

Virginia used this run to take its largest lead of the half as the Cavaliers went up 25-11 with three and a half minutes remaining in the frame. Miami eventually got it down to a 12-point lead by half as the score sat at 29-17.

The ‘Canes coughed the ball up five times and only hit seven of their 25 shot attempts in the first 20 minutes. Omier, who scored seven of Miami’s 17 total first-half points, was the one sign of life on the offensive end.

Beekman and sophomore guard Isaac Mckneely led the Cavaliers in first-half scoring, who had eight and seven points, respectively. Virginia also racked up four blocks and three steals by halftime.

The second half proved unforgiving for the Hurricanes as they only hit one shot through seven minutes. Virginia went on an 11-0 run to bring the lead up to 23.

More careless turnovers killed Miami. They turned the ball over six times in only 10 minutes of second-half play, while the Cavaliers’ offense remained efficient to give them a 26-point lead halfway through the final 20 minutes.

Virginia coasted down the stretch, draining much of the clock and controlling possession to secure the easy victory.

The road gets more challenging for Miami as they will be back at home against No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday evening. Tipoff at the Watsco Center is set for 4 p.m., and the game will air on ESPN.