For the first time in just over two weeks, the Miami Hurricanes played a men’s basketball game.
FINAL: @CanesHoops over Houston Baptist 80-73— Austin Pert (@AustinPert98) December 20, 2018
This team—whose lack of depth was farther highlighted by Deng Gak’s season-ending injury—took the two weeks of rest and used it Wednesday night to eke out a gritty victory.
This rest looked to have helped to the Canes in the second half. UM fell behind 47-48 with 13:28 to play, but finished on a 33-28 extended run to return to the win column on a night they returned to the court after the layoff.
Miami used a three-quarter court press and a two-three zone down the stretch to help pull away through the second half to jumpstart the run.
Timeout Houston Baptist. @CanesHoops extend lead to 65-54 after a quick 5-0 run spearheaded by the full court press— Austin Pert (@AustinPert98) December 20, 2018
Even with the extended break, depth remains a major issue for Miami, who still waits for the status regarding Dewan Hernandez.
With just seven scholarship players after Gak’s injury, Larrańaga must ask a lot from each of his active players. Foul trouble affected UM, with Sam Waardenburg dealing with fouls throughout the game, finishing with four. Waardenburg’s minutes were slightly reduced as foul trouble may have played a part in Larrańaga’s decision to play zone down the stretch.
Wednesday night showed that despite the skinny roster, the players available remain legitimately talented. Ebuka Izundu achieved his third double-double on the year, going for 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Chris Lykes, DJ Vasiljevic and Anthony Lawrence joined the big man in the double figure threshold, while Anthony Mack established himself as another threat from beyond the ark.
Lawrence: 17 pts, 4-7 3FG— Austin Pert (@AustinPert98) December 20, 2018
Izundu: 15 pts, 11 rebounds
Lykes: 14 pts, 4 assists
Vasiljevic: 13 pts, 3-10 3FG
Johnson: 9 pts
Mack: 6 pts
Waardenburg: 6 pts
Lynch-Daniels: 19 pts
McKenzie: 15 pts
Hardt: 14 pts
Miami is next in action Saturday at 2PM against the Florida Atlantic Owls. The game can be seen at the Watsco Center or ACC Network Extra.