Freshman guard Chris Lykes scored a career-high 19 points, but he was the only Hurricane to find his rhythm. Dewan Huell, Lonnie Walker IV and Anthony Lawrence II, three of the Canes best scorers, combined for just eight points on 2-of-16 shooting.
For many in attendance at the Watsco Center Feb. 11, the initiative represented immense progress – not only at the university but in the world as well.
The contest went back and forth throughout, featuring 13 ties and 16 lead changes. There were moments when it seemed like the Canes were beginning to pull away, but they went scoreless the final six minutes.
With a game against likely No. 1 Virginia looming, it would be easy for the Canes to look ahead and show up in Chestnut Hill lacking focus. That would be a grave mistake.
But Newton was struggling, and when sophomore standout Bruce Brown Jr. went down with a foot injury last week, he was moved to a bench role. He made the most of it against the Demon Deacons.
If the trend continues, he could be the first Miami Hurricane ever selected in the top 14, making him the first lottery pick in program history. He would also be the fifth drafted in the first round.
Lawrence led the Hurricanes (17-5, 6-4 ACC) with a career-high 25 points and a career-best 13 rebounds for his second-straight double-double, despite battling an illness.
Miami (15-7, 5-4 ACC) led for nearly the entire contest, but saw a lead as high as 17 get cut to two with under a minute left after a 16-5 Virginia Tech (14-8, 3-6 ACC) run.
The reigning ACC Co-Rookie of the Week notched 16 points and five rebounds, while shooting a perfect 6 of 6 from the free-throw line, to lead Miami past Pittsburgh 69-57.
How will Miami fare against its next three conference opponents? Pittsburgh and Wake Forest have the worst two records in the ACC.