The men’s basketball team earned praise when it went to No. 5 Wake Forest on Jan. 29 and hung around with one of the best teams in the country for 30 out of the 40 minutes. Entering Tuesday night’s rematch at the Convocation Center, the Hurricanes were tired of hearing that “hanging around” was good enough.
Although the Demon Deacons won 68-63, Miami certainly hung around for 40 minutes this time. Any time Wake Forest took a lead the Hurricanes would answer with either a slashing layup by Guillermo Diaz or an Anthony Harris three-pointer.
The Hurricanes never let the deficit get out of hand. They tied the score at 33 right before the teams went to the locker room, and even though Wake Forest started out with a mini 5-0 run to start the second half, Miami answered right back with a 6-0 run of its own.
Miami found itself in a dogfight with arguably the best team in the country. The lead went back and forth but ballooned for the Deacons as they took their largest lead of the game by eight points with 3:30 to play. But once again, these Hurricanes didn’t give up.
Trailing 63-55, the ‘Canes reeled off six straight points to cut the lead to two with 1:31 to play. Although Miami couldn’t get closer than that the rest of the way, staying in a dogfight with Wake is something new to this team.
“Last year we would have gotten down on ourselves,” sophomore Anthony King said. “This year we keep everything positive and it has helped us a lot.”
Douglas C. Kroll can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org