Just two days after moving into the AP Top 10, the No. 8 Miami Hurricanes’ eight-game win streak came to an end with a 66-58 loss to the No. 13 University of Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville on Tuesday night.
The defensive-minded Cavaliers, led by Head Coach Tony Bennett, were able to thwart the high-powered Miami offense. Both teams have their forte: defense for the Cavs (13-3, 2-2), which came into the game giving up only 60 points per game, and offense for the Canes, which came into the night averaging 83 points per game. In Tuesday night’s matchup the former won out, and the Cavs ended its two-game losing streak.
Redshirt senior Malcolm Brogdon led the way for the Cavaliers, scoring 20 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Brogdon was the ACC preseason player of the year, and he lived up to his hype Tuesday night, as the Cavs leaned on him to maintain the lead down the stretch.
The Canes (13-2, 2-1) struggled in several key areas. Despite surprisingly being able to get to the rim with some ease against UVA’s defense, the Canes were unable to finish at the basket, scoring only 22 points in the paint. The Canes also struggled to get senior center Tonye Jekiri the ball, as he only mustered four shot attempts. The team shot poorly from the charity stripe, knocking in 10-of-17 (59 percent) free throws.
Despite many negatives in performance, the Canes had several encouraging takeaways as well. The team continued its strong trend of limiting the opponent’s three-point field goal percentage. Coming into the game, the Canes had kept its last six opponents under 32 percent from beyond the arc. The story did not waver tonight, as the Cavs were limited to 2-of-7 (29 percent) from deep.
The game began slowly, as both teams had only two points four minutes into the game. But after starting off 1-of-7 (14 percent) from the field, the Cavs converted on five of its next seven shots to take a 13-7 lead. The Canes then chipped away at the Cavs’ lead, cutting it to 27-26 at the half.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were a tightly contested affair, including 12 lead changes from the beginning of the second half to the 11-minute mark. The Cavs rode to victory, hovering around a five-point lead for the rest of the game.
Redshirt senior point guard Angel Rodriguez led Miami with 17 points on 6-of-13 (46 percent) shooting.
The Canes next face Clemson at 2 p.m. on Saturday in South Carolina.