Emotions ran high on North Carolina’s Senior Night and the Miami Hurricanes were simply caught up in the middle of it, with the exception of one budding freshman.
Even a strong second-half comeback by Hurricanes couldn’t stop the Tar Heels’ 2,000 school victory with Miami (18-11, 4-11) falling to North Carolina (16-14, 5-10), 69-62.
But freshman guard Durand Scott was not phased by the history and the powder blue as he collected a career-high 29 points.
For the first time in six seasons, the Hurricanes didn’t win an ACC road game and the Canes have lost for their 10th time in their past 13 games. All of Miami’s losses have come in the ACC this season.
“I felt like we had our chances,” said Haith, whose team shot eight of 34 from three-pointers. “If one of those shots would have gone down, it’s a different game. We had some great looks and they just didn’t go.”
Throughout his freshmen year, Scott has always stepped up to the plate when the Hurricanes took on a top program.
Against Minnesota in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Scott made clutch baskets tallying 20 points.
Against Duke, Scott scored 19 points and had four assists. Tuesday night against North Carolina, Scott scored a career-best 29 points, the most points scored by a Hurricane this season.
“Durand was outstanding, and he’s been outstanding,” Haith said. “The future is bright for our program, no question about it. We’ve got some good, young talent, and they’re learning a valuable lesson this year, getting a lot of playing time.”
Scott scored 16 of his points in the second half and finished 11-for-15 from the floor. His 29 points are the second highest scoring effort by a freshman in the ACC this season.
“I came into this game prepared,” Scott said. “I talked to coach, and he asked me if I had hit the wall and I said, ‘No.’ So he said to go full out from here on out. That’s how I’m treating every game like that and we’ll see how we end up.”
But it was hard for Scott to get some help from his teammates. While Scott shot 73 percent from the field, the rest of his teammates were a combined 12-of-51 from the floor.
They also got thrashed on the boards with the Tar Heels collecting 51 rebounds to Miami’s 27.
Miami will host their Senior Day this Saturday against rival Florida State at noon. That game can be heard on 90.5 FM WVUM.
Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.