Coming into tonight, Coach Jim Larranaga and the 'Canes staff knew they were facing a wounded animal in the Virginia Cavaliers.
UVA came into the game with back to back road losses to Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, and badly needed to defend their home court.
And given that the Hoos were 27-1 over the past few years at home in the ACC, this game was clearly not going to be a walk in the park.
As expected Virginia came to play. And to compound things Miami was not particularly effective in several key areas.
Things got so tough tonight, Coach L even ripped off his tie in the second half, displeased with his team's defense.
The result was a frustrating 66-58 loss to the Hoos in Charlottesville.
Both teams predictably got off to slow starts (something of a recent UM trend) but it was mostly due to sensational defense.
Anthony Gill turned away Sheldon McClellan at the rim in the opening moments, and Miami's D led by Tonye Jekiri contested every shot inside and out.
The 'Canes forced two shot clock violations in the game's opening 6 minutes.
Gill was very active inside though, and a few quick buckets by the Hoos big man provided an early 4 point lead.
However, an off balance three by Angel Rodriguez sparked a UM mini run over the next 5 minutes to take the lead.
It was short lived though, as two Mike Tobey 15 footers helped UVA retake the lead.
In a fast moving, low scoring first half, Virginia went to the locker room up 27-23.
7 Wahoos offensive rebounds were the difference, as two quick fouls on Kamari Murphy really hurt the Hurricanes. .
UM was just 8-22 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes as well, with far too many possessions coming deep in the shot clock.
In the opening moments of second half, McClellan was able tighten up the game with a long triple that he was fouled on (he missed the ensuing FT).
A few possessions later a strong drive and dunk by Davon Reed gave the 'Canes back the lead.
But Malcolm Brogdon hit Virginia's first three of the game at the 15 minute mark, to retake the lead at 34-32.
And that's pretty much how the game went through most of the final 20.
The teams traded runs and the lead through the early part of the half, but UVA mostly controlled things.
Virginia's defense really stepped up in the second half (that and they got the nod on a few close calls), sending Miami into a few offensive droughts.
.Reed did get a call on what looked like a flop, and Rodriguez got to the hole to cut it to 52-49 though, at the 7 minute mark.
However the whistles kept piling up, sending Virginia to the line time and time again to recoup momentum.
A Darius Thompson back door cut and basket swelled it 59-52 with 3 and change left.
The 'Canes kept fighting, and even got the lead down to three with a chance to tie.
But Ivan Cruz Uceda missed a triple, and a huge front end miss on a one and one by Rodriguez stymied any chances to pull this one out.
It was a tough game on the road against a desperate opponent.
But no matter who UM plays going forward, they will need to get sharper to pull out wins in the juggernaut that is the ACC.
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||2-4||0-0||1-2||2||4||6||0||1||0||1||2||5|
|Kamari Murphy, F||0-2||0-1||0-0||1||2||3||0||1||1||2||4||0|
|Davon Reed, G||5-8||1-4||0-0||0||5||5||0||1||0||1||1||11|
|Angel Rodriguez, G||6-13||2-6||3-5||1||0||1||3||1||0||0||3||17|
|Sheldon McClellan, G||4-12||1-5||4-5||1||0||1||1||1||0||1||3||13|
|Ivan Cruz Uceda, F||2-5||2-5||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||0||0||2||6|
|Anthony Lawrence Jr., F||0-0||0-0||0-2||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||2||0|
|Ja'Quan Newton, G||2-5||0-1||2-3||1||4||5||1||0||0||2||0||6|
|James Palmer, G||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Jack Salt, C||0-1||0-0||0-0||1||2||3||0||0||1||1||1||0|
|Anthony Gill, F||6-10||0-0||3-8||3||5||8||3||1||1||1||4||15|
|London Perrantes, G||3-5||1-2||6-6||0||4||4||2||0||0||3||2||13|
|Marial Shayok, G||0-1||0-1||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||2||0|
|Malcolm Brogdon, G||7-15||1-3||5-5||0||2||2||2||0||0||2||4||20|
|Mike Tobey, C||6-10||0-0||0-0||3||4||7||0||0||1||0||1||12|
|Evan Nolte, F||0-1||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Isaiah Wilkins, F||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|Darius Thompson, G||1-1||0-0||2-2||1||2||3||3||0||0||0||1||4|
|Devon Hall, G||1-2||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||1||0||0||0||3||2|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None