Basketball, Sports

Dwayne Bacon scores 23, Miami unable to handle Florida State size in 66-57 loss

Dwayne Bacon showed the University of Miami that sometimes good defense gets beat out by better offense. The Florida State sophomore scored 23 points on an array of difficult, contested jumpers to lead the Seminoles over the Hurricanes 66-57 on Saturday afternoon.

After tying the score at 37 apiece with a Davon Reed three-pointer on the first possession of the second half, No. 25 Miami scored just six points in a span of 11 minutes. No. 15 FSU took advantage of its size and UM turnovers to outscore the Hurricanes 29-20 the rest of the way in Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.

In a defensive-minded, physical matchup, the Seminoles, who score at the second-highest rate in the ACC, put up 14 points fewer than their average. But, they were dominant inside, outscoring the Canes 30-16 in the paint while also forcing Miami to just 31 percent shooting in the second period.

The Hurricanes shot well from distance (8-17) but couldn’t get much help on offense outside of 22 points from guard Davon Reed – the only Cane to score more than 10. In addition to making basket after basket to keep UM afloat in the second period, the senior captain added six rebounds and six assists in the losing effort.

After being down by as many as 11 with just over four minutes remaining in the contest, Miami cut the lead down to five twice in the final minute and a half but was unable to execute on either end down the stretch.

Both teams suffered scoring droughts, but Florida State took 14 more shots – largely coming from 11 offensive rebounds – to give it the edge.

Freshman guard Bruce Brown put up 10 points for the Hurricanes – the only other double-digit scorer other than Reed. Redshirt senior forward Kamari Murphy pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.

UM held a four-point advantage at the 8:22 mark of the first period, but that would be the last lead it would have. FSU would take a 37-34 lead going into halftime.

Miami falls to 20-10 overall and 10-8 in the conference to close out the regular season. Florida State moves up to 24-7 overall, 12-6 in the conference and a perfect 18-0 at home on the season.

After winning six of seven, the Canes have now lost back to back since being placed in the AP Top-25 rankings for the first time this season on Monday. The Seminoles recover from a close loss to the No. 17 Duke Blue Devils.

The last time these two teams met, UM went into the half with the lead but was outscored 44-23 in the second period by FSU in a 75-57 loss. Once again, Florida State was the better second-half team.

With the loss, Miami is guaranteed the ninth seed and a first-round bye for the ACC Tournament. Florida State will be the second seed.

The tournament will begin Wednesday for the Hurricanes when they face the eighth-seeded Syracuse Orange at noon.

March 4, 2017

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Isaiah Kim-Martinez


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