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Canes Hoops Recap: March Continues, For Now

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The rubber meeting with Wake Forest went the Canes’ way in spite of some late drama.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Miami-Florida vs Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes kept their season alive Tuesday afternoon in Charlotte, NC with a 79-71 win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

The Canes (14-17, 6-13 ACC) live to see another day, while Wake Forest goes home with a 2018-19 record of 11-20.

Blowing a 14-point lead with less than nine minutes to play in the loss to the Deacons on February 26, Miami’s lead was cut to just four points with one minute to play on Tuesday afternoon, after leading by 12 points with under six minutes to play.

However, the Canes made their free throws down the stretch and cautiously sailed to victory.

Anthony Lawrence continued his best stretch as a Hurricane, as he is peaking at the right time during his senior season. The St. Pete native was at double-figures by halftime and rode that first half performance to a total of 20 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, his fifth double-double in six games.

DJ Vasiljavic also got hot when his team needed him, going 4-7 on three-pointers on his way to a game-high 21 points. The very first points of the contest came off a three-pointer by the Aussie, setting the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

Chris Lykes added 13 points and Zach Johnson scored 12.

Ebuka Izundu fouled out of the contest, finishing with a quiet five points.

In a game true to it’s close roots, the two teams finished equal in three-point shooting percentage at just below 44 percent. Miami fell just behind in total rebounds, 32-31, and just ahead in total shooting percentage, 51-47. UM also had three more assists than the Deacons to go along with three fewer turnovers.

Brandon Childress, beating Miami in the last matchup on February 26 with a three-pointer with less than 30 seconds to play, was the Deacons leading scorer along with Jaylen Hoard, with 16 points each.

The first eight minutes of the game were controlled by Wake Forest, jumping out in front with a 16-9 lead. That lead was erased by the intermission, sending the teams into the locker room with the Canes up 34-31. Miami never trailed in the second half.

The No. 5 seeded Virginia Tech Hokies lie ahead for UM now, with both teams having less than 24 hours to prepare. The Hurricanes will need to be upset-minded, having been defeated by VT on January 30 and in March 8.