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Miami Outlasts Virginia Tech, 82-74

The Canes complete the season sweep against the Hokies.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Miami (FL) Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes came back today to beat the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Watsco Center, 82-74. Matthew Cleveland returned from injury to lead a balanced Canes effort with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Norchad Omier had 16 points and 7 rebounds, Kyshawn George had 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals, and Bensley Joseph had 14 points off the bench. Sean Pedulla led the Hokies with 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Miami improves to 15-7, 6-5 ACC. Virginia Tech falls to 13-9, 5-6 ACC.

Below are some random thoughts from today’s game.

A tale of two halves

The Canes played like garbage in the first half. I turned the game off for a few minutes because I was so frustrated watching them. I think I have use the word frustrated more than any other word to describe this year’s team. Miami shot 9-26 from the field and committed 9 turnovers. Blegh. The season was on the brink. Whatever Coach L said during halftime must have worked, because they looked and played like a completely different team in the second twenty minutes. The aggressiveness picked up, as they attempted 23 second-half free-throws (making 22 of them). The ball control improved as well. Coach L’s squad only committed 2 turnovers after halftime.

Bensley off the bench again?

I was curious to see how George and Joseph would play today with their roles switched. Luckily, the switch wasn’t anything new for either guy. George has started multiple games this season due to injuries and Joseph was Miami’s sixth man last year. Both guards played very well today and combined to be a big reason why the Canes pulled out the victory. George made some clutch shots and free-throws. He also played some solid defense. Meanwhile, Joseph provided the spark off the bench Coach L has been searching for.

Another season sweep against a former Big East rival

Miami couldn’t lose today’s game, considering their next three opponents are Virginia, UNC, and Clemson. And it’s not like Va Tech is that good this season. After today, it’s going to be extremely tough for them to find a way to sneak into the NCAA Tournament. That said, it’s another season sweep against a Canes rival. Not a bad way to end the week for Coach L’s squad. Quick turnaround for the game at Virginia: Monday night at 7:00 PM EST on ESPN. Come on boys! Time to go on a run!