Happy New Year! It’s finally warm again in North Florida. Yes! It feels good to be back to normal. With all the football going on, a parity-filled college basketball season is flying under the radar right now. Let’s get caught up.
We’re here for another week of Miami Hurricanes Men’s and Women’s Basketball. The guys won their one game at Notre Dame last Friday. Miami’s home matchup against Vermont last Wednesday was cancelled due to travel issues for the Catamounts. The ladies split their two games last week: losing at home vs #5 Notre Dame last Thursday, then winning at Pittsburgh yesterday.
I recapped Miami’s 76-65 victory over Notre Dame. The Canes didn’t look great in the first half, but they turned up their effort and execution for the second twenty minutes. Coach L’s squad played suffocating defense that forced the Fighting Irish into bad decisions, resulting in 16 turnovers. Miami also made the proper adjustments on offense, with Jordan Miller penetrating the ND zone defense and making good decisions with the basketball. Friday afternoon was Nijel Pack’s best game in a Miami uniform. The junior guard transfer from Kansas State scored 21 points on 8-13 shooting, including 5-8 from three-point range. He also had 4 steals, while committing only 1 turnover.
The Canes are now #12 in today’s new AP Top 25 Poll. It’s awesome to see that high of a number next to a Miami team. That said, the fact that Virginia is still one spot ahead of them is really irritating. I’m trying to not let things like that get to me in the new year. We’ll see if I’m able to pull it off. I’m skeptical.
The Lady Canes played well in a 66-63 loss to #5 Notre Dame last Thursday at the Watsco Center. Miami fought back to tie the game going into the fourth quarter, but couldn’t complete the comeback. This has been a frustrating season-long trend for them. I talk about it further in the 2022-23 ACC Preview below. Destiny Harden and Haley Cavinder led the Canes with 12 points each. Maddy Westbeld played great for the Fighting Irish, putting up 15 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals.
The women bounced back with their first ACC victory of the season, a 74-67 road win over Pittsburgh yesterday on New Year’s Day. Miami actually got off to a fast start, leading by 7 points after the first quarter. What a novel idea! Haley Cavinder led the Lady Canes with 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. Lola Pendande chipped in 18 points. Amber Brown led Pittsburgh with 19 points and 3 steals.
The guys play one game this week. They travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech on Wednesday, 1/4 at 7:00 PM EST. The game will be televised on the ESPN family of networks. The Yellow Jackets’ top three scorers are all homegrown sophomores. Miami will be expected to take care of business against a lower-tier ACC team.
The ladies have two home games against ranked ACC teams. They first host #22 North Carolina on Thursday, 1/5 at 6:00 PM EST. The game will be televised on ACC Extra. UNC is currently on a three-game losing streak. The Lady Canes then welcome on #9 Virginia Tech on Sunday, 1/8 at 1:00 PM EST. The game will be televised on ACC Extra. The Hokies just beat UNC yesterday.