Though Nebraska is not ranked, Pinnacle Bank Arena is a notoriously tough venue.
Coach Jim Larranaga and the 'Canes are aware.
In 2013 the Hurricanes lost to the Huskers from Lincoln in the ACC/B1G Challenge, 60-49 in a game that wasn't nearly that close. .
The atmosphere of tonight's contest, and the fact that UM was coming off a buzzer beater loss precluded by a slow start last time out Vs Northeastern, guaranteed tonight would be a challenge.
Excuses and explanations aside, the 21st ranked 'Canes were very sloppy tonight, and looked nothing like the team that romped through the Puerto Rico Tip Off.
Nonetheless they survived the Huskers with a hard fought if not beautiful 77-72 win in overtime.
Five minutes in, there appeared to be no early game jitters this time as Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez both rained threes to put Miami up 12-3.
But a Shavon Shields' drive started a 11-0 run for the Huskers, to take the lead.
Perhaps more disconcerting, the game was being played at Nebraska's pace.
Ja"Quan Newton ended the run, but Andrew White hit the 4th triple of the half for the Cornhuskers to keep them out in front.
The Hurricanes must have felt an odd combination of deja vu and snake bite as Nebraska, much like Northeastern last time out, started out a perfect 5-5 from deep with many of them contested.
Anthony Lawrence Jr. came off the bench with 10 huge first half points though, including a monster tip dunk with 5 minutes left in the stanza, to spark the struggling UM O.
At the half, and after so many things going wrong including Rodriguez inexplicably missing a wide open lay in and Nebraska hitting a ton of difficult shots (including 3 crazy ones by Glynn Watson Jr.), the 'Canes somehow led 37-36.
But the raucous crowd was certainly behind the confident home team.
And early in the final 20 minutes, Shields and the Huskers obliged their fans, continuing to hit some very tough jumpers.
An 8-0 run by Miami appeared to create some separation, but Benny Parker hit another late shot clock triple to keep Nebraska close.
It was a nip and tuck second half, that was eerily similar to the 'Canes last contest.
They just couldn't shake the Huskers.
Miami was constantly on their heels defensively, and just couldn't string together enough consecutive solid offensive possessions to take the game over.
A couple of critical missed one and ones on back to back possessions and a wide open missed three by Davon Reed helped stall things as the Hurricanes clung to a 60-59 lead with 5 to go.
They were just asking to lose this one.
Shields gave the Cornhuskers the lead on two different occasions in the hectic final 4 minutes.
Reed gave the UM the lead with two from the charity stripe, but another frantic UM possession in which Rodriguez had his pocket picked. led to a Nebraska run out and a 65-64 lead.
Angel redeemed himself with a nice lob to Kamari Murphy to yet again retake the lead with just 45 seconds left.
On the next possession he stole the ball and scored to extend to a 3 point lead, but Watson made an impossible triple to tie it at 68 moments later.
An atrocious final shot/possession that ended with a Rodriguez air ball sent things to OT.
In the extra session, Reed finally knocked one down from deep and a Murphy dunk off a nice feed by Rodriguez gave the Hurricanes an advantage,
From there they salted it away at the line for the win, just barely.
Long story short, the 'Canes need to get better. A whole lot better.
Right now they are a step late on defense far too often, and just not playing smart offensively.
If they don't fix things quick, the red hot start that included wins over Butler and Utah, will mean nothing.
Next up: Charlotte at The BUC on Saturday 12/5, 3 PM EST.
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||2-8||0-1||3-3||2||8||10||2||0||2||2||3||7|
|Kamari Murphy, F||5-6||0-0||0-0||1||4||5||0||0||1||2||4||10|
|Davon Reed, G||1-10||1-6||5-6||1||3||4||0||0||0||1||2||8|
|Angel Rodriguez, G||5-11||2-5||3-4||0||4||4||4||3||1||4||1||15|
|Sheldon McClellan, G||3-8||1-2||7-9||2||2||4||0||1||0||2||2||14|
|Ivan Cruz Uceda, F||0-2||0-2||0-0||1||1||2||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|Anthony Lawrence Jr., F||5-7||2-3||1-1||2||5||7||0||0||0||0||1||13|
|Ja'Quan Newton, G||3-6||0-2||4-5||0||2||2||2||0||0||2||1||10|
|James Palmer, G||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Shavon Shields, F||11-25||2-5||4-6||2||3||5||2||2||0||4||4||28|
|Jake Hammond, F||0-3||0-0||0-0||1||2||3||1||0||4||1||4||0|
|Andrew White, G||4-8||1-4||4-4||2||4||6||0||2||0||2||2||13|
|Benny Parker, G||2-5||2-3||0-0||0||4||4||1||1||0||1||1||6|
|Tai Webster, G||4-11||1-2||0-0||0||5||5||4||1||0||2||5||9|
|Michael Jacobson, F||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Ed Morrow, F||1-1||0-0||0-0||2||2||4||0||0||0||0||3||2|
|Jack McVeigh, F||1-1||1-1||0-0||0||2||2||1||1||0||1||1||3|
|Glynn Watson Jr., G||4-9||2-3||1-2||1||3||4||1||0||0||0||2||11|