The Hurricanes’ men’s basketball team came into Wednesday’s contest on a six-game losing streak and faced against one of the best teams in the ACC. Despite a spirited effort, Miami fell short of the upset in a 75-68 decision to the Boston College Eagles.
Miami has now lost five consecutive games at the Bank United Center, with their last victory at home on Dec. 16.
Miami dropped to 9-15 (2-8) while Boston College improved to 17-6 (8-2) and tied with Virginia for first place in the ACC. The Eagles have now won the last 11 meetings between the two teams.
“I thought we competed and we can build from this game,” Head Coach Frank Haith said. “I am proud of the way we played tonight.”
The Eagles took advantage of the Hurricanes depleted frontcourt as center Dwayne Collins was the only true low-post presence for Miami.
Boston College forward Jared Dudley, who was the ACC Player of the Week, came into the game leading the ACC in scoring and rebounding for a reason. Dudley created mismatches inside the paint, scoring a game-high 26 points and adding nine rebounds.
Dudley was impressive when the game was on the line, scoring nine consecutive points in a 2:22 span, including a crucial three-pointer with the teams deadlocked at 60-60 with 4:28 to play.
“I know he [Dudley] wasn’t going away,” Haith said. “He’s a great player and made all the big plays.”
The loss of Ray Hicks, who was suspended indefinitely for violating an unspecified team violation, created additional pressure for Collins to perform at a high level to keep Miami in the game.
Collins, who scored 24 points and posted 13 rebounds in the last meeting between the teams, gave another solid effort. The Miami native had 11 points and 13 rebounds, including nine offensive rebounds that provided the Hurricanes second chance opportunities.
Miami sophomore Denis Clemente was a threat from the perimeter, scoring a team-high 24 points.
Clemente gave Miami their last lead of the game, 60-58, on a three-pointer with just 6:30 to play. The Eagles went on a 7-0 run, only allowing Miami to get within three points the rest of the game.
Miami had their first halftime lead since their win against Maryland, going ahead 33-31 at intermission. Clemente had 14 first-half points, helping Miami take a 15-7 lead before Boston College went on an 8-0 run.
Miami continued to answer, led by transition baskets and good perimeter shooting.
After Boston College took a 44-37 second-half lead, Miami kept the game close, responding with some timely shots by Clemente and sophomore Jack McClinton, who scored 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
But, the Eagles’ point guard Tyrese Rice complemented Dudley late in the game, sinking six free throws in the final 2:04 and putting the game out of reach with a basket to extend the lead to 71-64 with 38 seconds remaining.
Although Miami has lost seven consecutive games, Haith believes the underclassmen that are carrying the squad provide a bright spot for the program.
“I’m excited about the future of this basketball program, Haith said.
“We are all learning and growing with this experience.”
Alex Kushel may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.