After 39 minutes of hard-fought basketball, No. 22 Virginia’s 46-44 win over Miami Wednesday night came down to a miscommunication between Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga and freshman guard Harlond Beverly.
Tied at 44-44 with eight second left in the game, Beverly fouled Kihei Clark in the backcourt, which gave Virginia an one-and-one. Clark made both shots and sealed the win for the defending national champions.
“I messed it up at the end,” Larrañaga said. “I thought Sam [Waardenburg] got the offensive rebounds and got fouled inside and I was yelling to the referee, ‘he got fouled’ and Harlond thought I meant for him to foul, so we didn’t get a chance to actually defend them in that last possession.”
“I just heard him yell foul, so I saw there was a little bit of time left on the clock, so I tried to make a play on the ball,” Beverly said. “It was my fault because I should have been more aware of our foul situation, so that was 100% on me.”
With 40 seconds left and the game tied at 44-44, Miami called a timeout. Out of the timeout, Beverly dribbled the ball around until the shot clock wound down to nearly seven and the Hurricanes failed to get off a solid shot.
Miami was forced to spend the last seven minutes of the game without leading scorer Chris Lykes after the guard was hit in the face and went into the locker room with an eye laceration. At the half, Lykes led Miami in scoring with 14 points, and added just two more points before he was injured.
After the game, Larrañaga said Lykes had injured his nose and the area surrounding his eye.
“On his way to the emergency room to get x-rays to see how bad damage is,” Larrañaga said. “He caught an elbow in the face.”
Aside from Lykes, no Miami player scored in double figures. Keith Stone’s eight points, six points from DJ Vasiljevic, Beverly and Rodney Miller and two points from Sam Waardenburg made up the rest of Miami’s scoring. Freshman guard Isaiah Wong, who was named ACC Freshman of the Week two weeks in a row, and redshirt junior guard Kam McGusty, were both held scoreless.
In both the Hurricanes’ lowest scoring game of the season and least amount of points they have held opposing teams to, the game was defense dominant.
The Hurricanes had a difficult time guarding Virginia’s Jay Huff in the first half. The 7’1 forward scored 17 of the team’s 24 first half points and went 3-4 from the three-point line. But after making adjustments to start the second half, Miami held Huff scoreless in the second half.
With a greater focus on guarding Huff, forward Mamadi Diakite was able to pick up the slack and scored 10 second half points.
Down 24-23 at halftime, no team led by more than six points in the second half. Virginia (22-7, 14-5) led for the last 13 minutes of the game until Miami tied it up on a three-point shot from Stone with two minutes left.
Miami has now dropped its last three games, with losses at Georgia Tech and Notre Dame in the past two weeks.
“It’s a terrible way to end the game when you are in a position to win.
The Hurricanes (14-15, 6-13) will play their last regular season game on Saturday, March 7 against the Syracuse Orange at the Watsco Center.