No. 12 Miami men’s basketball failed to pick up its tenth consecutive win on Wednesday night at McCamish Pavilion, as Georgia Tech eked out a 76-70 decision for its first Atlantic Coast Conference victory of the season.
After bouncing back from a 12-point first-half deficit, the Hurricanes (13-2, 4-1 ACC) held a six-point advantage with just under five minutes to play. But Miami missed its final six field goal attempts of the game, and forward Norchad Omier, who had 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds, fouled out with 2:15 remaining.
The Yellow Jackets (8-6, 1-3 ACC) capitalized with a 12-0 run for the upset. The loss snaps the ‘Canes seven-game ACC road winning streak.
As a whole, Miami shot 5-32 from deep and was outrebounded 46-36.
Guard Lance Terry led Georgia Tech with 24 points, while Miles Kelly added 20 of his own. For Miami, guard Jordan Miller punched in 17 points, but leading scorer Isaiah Wong was held to six, 11.1 below his average.
The Hurricanes shot just 35% from the field in the game, more than 13 percentage points below their ACC-leading mark of 48.3%.
Georgia Tech’s zone defense was a big reason why, as it stifled Miami in the first half, which shot only 26.7% from beyond the arc.
Guard Nijel Pack was Miami’s lone sharpshooter in the period, making 3 of 6 attempts from deep.
Wong did not score until 3:14 remained in the first half. The Hurricanes also missed big man Omier, a dominant presence on the glass, who sat for a large portion of the period after committing two quick fouls midway through the half.
Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets went 6-12 from 3 in the half and used an early 14-2 run to build a 12-point lead with four minutes left. They finished 9-of-24 from behind the arc, comfortably besting their season average of 6.5 3-pointers per game.
However, the ‘Canes went on a 10-2 run — aided by three Georgia Tech turnovers — to close out the half. Miami trailed 39-35 at the break.
The Hurricanes upped their defensive intensity in the second half, registering six steals and 11 points off turnovers in the frame.
Georgia Tech was shooting just 28% from the field with 3:23 to go, as opposed to 46.9% in the first half.
A deep 3 from guard Bensley Joseph put the ‘Canes ahead with 10:58 remaining for the first time since the 16:20 mark in the first half. After the Yellow Jackets quickly tied it up again, sophomore Wooga Poplar — who had all nine of his points in the second half — gave Miami the lead with a steal and layup on the other end.
But Miami just could not hold on.
Next up, the ‘Canes face Boston College back home at the Watsco Center on Jan. 11. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.