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Miami Tops Pitt, 72-68

The Canes hold on at the end to move above .500 in conference play.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 27 Pittsburgh at Miami Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes held on today to beat the Pittsburgh Panthers at the Watsco Center, 72-68. Norchad Omier led the Canes with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Nijel Pack had 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. Wooga Poplar also scored 17 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. Blake Hinson led the Panthers with 21 points and 9 rebounds. Miami improves to 14-6, 5-4 ACC. Pitt falls to 12-8, 3-6 ACC.

Below are some random thoughts from today’s game.

Uneven performance

The Canes were consistently frustrating to watch today. They looked great in stretches on both sides of the ball. They would then go several minutes without taking a good shot on offense, while also playing poor defense. It’s no real surprise Pitt came back and almost won today. Miami has been underperforming for long stretches during conference games. Ugh.

It can’t be all bad though, right? There were some positives from today’s game. Kyshawn George is getting better on defense and defensive rebounding. He is now officially Miami’s sixth starter and can be trusted in crunch time. Great to see from a freshman. Wooga looks completely healthy. He had one of his trademark athletic dunks and was skying for rebounds. Welcome back.

Nothing off the bench

Coach L has officially lost confidence in his bench. AJ Casey and Christian Watson combined to play zero minutes. Zilch. Pitt is a big team. If Casey and Watson can’t get playing time against them, I don’t know when they will. Michael Nwoko played four minutes. Paul Djobet got the most run off the bench, playing 19 minutes. While he hustled and played solid defense, he was not a threat at all on offense. When one starter is missing, this team gets stretched thin.

It’s always nice to beat a former Big East rival

Back-to-back wins against Notre Dame and Pitt. I love it. I know neither are good at basketball this season, but it’s still nice to beat your rivals. Especially Pitt, they’re annoying. Get healthy Matthew Cleveland! This Tuesday’s game at NC State is going to be a battle.