For the first time in Jim Larrañaga’s career at Miami, the Hurricanes have lost four straight games.
FINAL: @CanesHoops falls to Penn for fourth straight loss, 89-75— Austin Pert (@AustinPert98) December 5, 2018
Lykes: 16 pts, 4 rbs, 5 asts, 4 tos
Vasiljevic: 10 pts, 2-5 3FG
Lawrence: 9 pts, 3 rbs
Waardenburg: 14 pts
Izundu: 9 pts, 7 rbs
Johnson: 17 pts
Goodman: 16 pts
Brodeur: 18 pts
Wang: 23 pts
If there was any good news about this night, it was that the game only streamed on ESPN’s subscription-based plus service and much of the fanbase missed having to watch the game.
A late run put UM within four points, 77-73 with 3:23 to play.
But that was the closest the Canes would get.
Penn pulled back ahead to win 89-75. The night represented all that has gone wrong during this now four game losing streak, dating back to the final of the Wooden Legacy Tournament, and extending through two losses to Ivy League opponents.
The Quaker offense flew around and attacked the Canes on all fronts. Guards Devin Goodman and Jake Slipe frustrated Miami from long-range, going 3-5 and 3-4 on three-point shots.
AJ Brodeur was productive in the post, and was just two rebounds away from a double-double to go along with 18 points.
But the leading scorer for Penn didn’t even start, as Michael Wang had a career night off the bench, accounting for 23 of the Quaker’s 36 bench points. The stretch forward went 9-12 on FG and an astounding 5-6 on 3FG.
One of the positive storylines for the Canes was the performance of Sam Waardenburg. Despite his poor performances lately, the forward came to life Tuesday night with a career-high 14 points.
Zach Johnson was also very good, with 17 points off the bench, proving himself to be the player fans could expect after his years at Florida Gulf Coast.
Consistency has hurt this team over the last four games, and reared its ugly head tonight as well. Chris Lykes, up and down all season, was held to just six first half points as Miami by fourteen at the break. His 10 second half points gave UM late life but not enough to get over the hump.
With just 10 assists, the Hurricanes did not put themselves in good position to be successful tonight in that regard either. For a team that wants to win by shooting and ball movement, 10 assists won’t do the job.
As final exams arrive at UM, Jim Larrañaga and his players will get a two week break to reassess their approach to this still young season. With this team’s lack of depth, the rest will be vital for the young core of players before their next game against Houston Baptist on December 19.