The Canes returned to the Spectrum Center court 24 hours after defeating Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC Tournament to take on the 5th-seeded Virginia Tech Hokies. Once there, the game played out as many predicted, as the underdog Canes fell to VT 71-56. The loss drops Miami to 14-18 on the season, meaning there likely won’t be any postseason basketball for Coach Larranaga and company this year.
VT owned the game from tip off, opening with an 11-0 run. Miami would not score its first points until the 15:30 mark. The Hokies were red hot from deep, knocking down 7 first half threes (including 4 from guard Ty Outlaw). By the time Miami’s shots started falling, VT was already up big, carrying a 17-point advantage into the half.
The Canes came out with better intensity in the second half, and managed to cut the lead to just 7 points, with the score being 42-35 with just under 15 minutes to play. The nation’s 16th-ranked team had an answer, however, as the Hokies responded with a 13-3 run to extend their lead back up to 17 points. From there, it was just a matter of time before Miami was sent packing, as the buzzer sounded with VT as the victors, 71-56.
In what may be their last game in the orange and green, Anthony Lawrence II, Ebuka Izundu and Zach Johnson all had their own respective struggles. Lawrence led the Canes with 11 rebounds and 7 assists, but went 1 of 6 from the floor finishing with 4 points. Izundu had a modest performance of 9 points and 5 rebounds, and Johnson also struggled to make shots, tallying just 2 points. Miami’s leading scorer was Chris Lykes, who came on late to finish with 19 points, while Dejan Vasiljevic pitched in 17 of his own.
The Hokies had 4 players in double-figures, led by big-man Kerry Blackshear Jr, who secured a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Ty Outlaw was hot from the outside in the first half and finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Nickeal Alexander-Walker had a solid day with 12 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds, and Isaiah Wilkins pitched in 10 points off of the bench. VT moves on to play Florida State tomorrow at 2:30pm ET.