The Miami Hurricanes Men’s Basketball Team took their undefeated 2-0 record on the road this weekend, facing the Evansville Purple Aces and the Buffalo Bulls. They came back 3-1.
On Friday, Miami faced a tough Evansville team that gave Miami a run for its money. Powered by forward Matt Webster, who dropped 26 points and pulled in six rebounds, the Purple Aces looked to be in control for a good majority of the game. The Hurricanes were unable to secure a lead until guard Jack McClinton hit a three with 6:27 left to play.
McClinton led the Hurricanes with 17 points but it was guard Anthony Harris who had the game’s most important points, hitting two free throws with 1:42 left in on the clock putting Miami up 70-69. Harris also knocked down a jumper with 45 second left which ultimately sealed the game.
Miami would eventually go on to win the game by a score of 74-69. The ‘Canes saw seven of its players step up, providing key plays during different facets of the game. Anthony King finished with 15 rebounds, while four of his teammates – McClinton, Harris, Jimmy Graham and Dwayne Collins – put up double-digit points. The Hurricanes showed determination and patience, as the young team was able to fight their way back from an 11-point deficit and a halftime deficit of six.
Miami’s fortune of being able to overcome a halftime deficit against the Purple Aces became a sign of their misfortune the next night against the Bulls, as the Hurricanes were on the reverse end, losing the game after securing a halftime lead. Saturday’s game against the Bulls was a back-and-forth battle that featured 16 lead changes.
The game, which featured the return of Miami forward Raymond Hicks, was close. The ‘Canes played the Bulls tough, but they lost the battle on the boards 43-35. They were outplayed on the offensive glass, giving up 16 offensive boards, more than twice as many as the ‘Canes were able to secure. Additionally, the Hurricanes lost the turnover battle 19-15.
Despite these numbers, the Hurricanes, led by McClinton’s 21 points, were able to hold on to a 32-28 lead, going into halftime. They pushed the lead to seven with a Brian Asbury layup, with 14:25 left in the game.
Miami saw their lead evaporate, and the game turned into a battle. The ‘Canes were able to grab a one-point lead on a McClinton free throw, with 4:00 to go, but that was the last time Miami would taste the lead.
The Hurricanes went down by four with 47 seconds left and were able to tie the game with 24 seconds to go. Yassin Idbihi, who finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds, knocked down a jumper with five seconds left on the clock, giving Buffalo a 59-57 lead.
The Bulls went on to win the game 60-57, handing Miami its first loss of the season.
Pravin Patel may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.