The Miami Hurricanes, still dealing with a slew of injuries, fell to rival Florida State 81-59 on the road Wednesday night. Miami played just eight players during the game, two of which were walk-ons. The Hurricanes just couldn’t matchup with FSU’s depth and were down by 20 points at one point in the first half.
Miami managed to get on a run to go into the break down just 12 at 35-23. After halftime, a rejuvenated Hurricanes starting lineup that had spent almost every minute on the court further cut the lead down to nine, but fatigue set in and the Seminoles pulled away as the half went on.
During the game, Isaiah Wong, Anthony Walker, and Kam McGusty all played more than 35 minutes, with Wong playing nearly all 40. The Hurricanes other scholarship players, Harlond Beverly, Deng Gak, and Nysier Brooks, played 27, 25, and 18 minutes respectively. Walk-on Willie Herenton was forced to play 17 minutes.
Wong was again the Hurricanes best player, running the offense for most of the night and scoring 21 points. Anthony Walker and Kam McGusty both had good nights as well, with each scoring 13 points.
For FSU, scoring was more evenly distributed across the box score. MJ Walker shared the lead in scoring for the Seminoles with Malik Osborne and Sardaar Calhoun, they each had 11 points. Osborne had a double-double with 10 rebounds in addition to his 11 points along with RaiQuan Gray who had 11 rebounds and 10 points. It was a complete performance from start to finish for FSU, who contained Miami for nearly the entire game and never let it get close except for the start of the second half when Miami got to within single-digits of taking the lead.
The Hurricanes continue to look for ways to adapt without so many key players. Miami has now lost four of their last five games and six of eight games in the month of January. Chris Lykes, Elijah Olaniyi, and Earl Timberlake remain unavailable, and without them Miami will continue to struggle. Thankfully for Miami their next game comes against Wake Forest on Saturday, another team that is struggling to find their footing in the ACC this season.
As of now, the Hurricanes season has been nearly irreparably damaged by the injuries they’ve suffered so far. Coach Jim Larrañaga will hope to get players back from injury and make a good run in February and March as the season nears it’s end.
Miami still has the capacity to win big games when the roster is healthy. It’s possible that a recovery for Olaniyi, Timberake, Lykes, and Matt Cross, who didn’t play against FSU, would help the Hurricanes return to consistent winning. However, Miami has had no luck when it comes to injuries this season, and it seems that as one player returns from an injury, someone else gets hurt. The Hurricanes are facing three seasons in a row where outside factors and injuries have resulted in a disappointing year for the program.
The Hurricanes now hope to put the tough loss to the Seminoles in the rearview mirror and turn their attention to Wake Forest on Saturday. That game will take place on the road and is scheduled to tip-off at 2:00 p.m. on the ACC Network.