BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP)Norchad Omier had 17 points and 14 rebounds as No. 13 Miami beat Virginia Tech 76-70 on Tuesday night for its seventh straight win.
Nigel Pack added 16 points for the Hurricanes (23-5, 14-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who placed five players in double figures.
”I’m very, very proud of my team and the way we hung in there in the first half,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. ”And the way we played in the second half.”
Sean Pedulla led Virginia Tech (16-12, 6-11) with 17 points.
Miami, which trailed by as many as nine in the first half, led the entire second half and built a 10-point lead with 9:58 remaining.
The Hokies closed to 64-60 on Grant Basile’s basket with 4:05 remaining. The Hurricanes sealed the win by making eight of 10 free throws in the final 1:02, connecting on 8 of 10 from the free-throw line.
”Our practices have been terrific,” Larranaga said. ”The energy level, the attention to detail, and at both ends of the court. The guys I would give credit to are our scout team. They’re freshmen, but they have to simulate what the opponents are doing, and they are doing a fabulous job of just creating game-like situations. . All those guys are practicing very hard and very well.”
Isaiah Wong finished with 13 points and Jordan Miller had 11 for Miami, which shot just 42.2% (27 of 64) after leading the ACC at 48.7 percent coming into the game.
Hunter Cattoor finished with 15 points for the Hokies, who shot 46.7% (28 of 60), but allowed 14 offensive rebounds.
”We didn’t get the rebounding from our guards that we typically get and need,” Virginia Tech coach Mike Young said. ”I had a lot on their plate, getting to Wong, getting to Pack, getting to Jordan Miller is such a big deal, and they flat beat us to the ball a couple of times. That hurt.
”We weren’t quite good enough, and they are playing great, great basketball. I thought we did some really, really good things, but needless to say, not enough against the Hurricanes here tonight.”
Miami: The Hurricanes are tied with Pittsburgh with a league-high six road wins this season. They are a half-game behind Virginia in the standings.
Virginia Tech: Last year’s ACC Tournament champion is probably looking at an NIT berth unless it again wins the ACC tourney. The Hokies have just three Quad 1 victories, played a weak nonconference schedule, and close losses — five losses by five points or less — have really hurt their NCAA Tournament chances.
Miami: The Hurricanes host Florida State on Saturday.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies play at Duke on Saturday.
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