Miami became ranked for the first time this year earlier on Monday, but then dropped a road matchup at the Hokies.
The ‘Canes attempted 12 more field goals than Va Tech, but the Hokies made more free-throws than Miami attempted and road Ty Outlaws hot shooting from beyond-the-arc to get the win.
Outlaw came into the game shooting 15/21 from three in his past three games, and tonight he improved upon that going 8/10 and tallying a game-high 24 points. The rest of the Hokies were just 2/10 shooting threes.
Anthony Lawrence Jr. led the way for the ‘Canes with 18 points, including 3/5 from three and Kamari Murphy knotted 13 points on an efficient 5/7 from the field.
But Davon Reed, Bruce Brown and Ja’Quan Newton all struggled.
The trio combined shot 7/23 (30.4%) from the field, while the rest of the team shot 14/26 (53.8%).
The ‘Canes went on a 7-0 run midway through the second half to tie the game at 45-45 and with 4:43 left Reed hit a couple free-throws to give Miami a 52-51 lead.
But Seth Allen cut to the hoop for a layup and and Va Tech made their next four shots and never trailed again.
Miami was able to drive to the hoop well the whole game and create easy close looks to the rim or dish it off for open threes. Where they struggled down the stretch was on defense and with turnovers.
Seth Allen, who scored all of his 12 points in the second half, was driving to hoop and scoring at will, and when he wasn’t scoring Outlaw was there to hit a huge three-pointer.
The scouting report coming into the game had to mention the hot shooting of Outlaw, but the ‘Canes left him wide open on too many occasions and he burned them. His hot shooting willed them to this key home victory.
Miami ends their regular season on Saturday at Florida State, where the Seminoles are 17-0 on the season. In FSU’s last three home games their average margin of victory is 34.7.
It will be a tall test for the ‘Canes who will be trying to finish conference play in the top half of the ACC. The ‘Noles beat the Hurricanes 75-57 at the Watsco Center back on February 1st.