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Canes Hoops: Lack of Offense Dooms Miami in Fifth Consecutive Loss

Hanging with UVA for much of the day, Miami lost their grip and the game late.

NCAA Basketball: Miami-Florida at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A rocky season didn't get any smoother for the Miami Hurricanes, getting slowly suffocated by the always-smothering defense of the no. 3 Virginia Cavaliers at the John Paul Jones Arena Saturday afternoon, 56-46.

Miami (9-12, 1-8 ACC) could not generate any consistent sources of offense all day, getting held to just 34 percent shooting and 19 percent from three-point range by UVA (20-1, 8-1 ACC).

Chris Lykes had a game-high 16 points, back in form with two straight games as the leading scorer after an abbreviated slump last week. The point guard from Maryland was the only Hurricane with more than one three-pointer.

Ebuka Izundu came close to another double-double, scoring eight points while pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds. The last true center remaining for UM had three of Miami’s just five offensive rebounds.

Sam Waardenburg continued his impressive stretch with 10 points of his own, his second game of his last three in double-figures. Zach Johnson was the third-leading scorer for the Hurricanes, also with 10 points.

But far too many scorers were seemingly absent in the Old Dominion State Saturday.

Anthony Lawrence was without a field goal in the loss, scoring just two points.

DJ Vasilijevic’s 30-game streak with at-least one three-pointer ended in disappointment in a scoreless effort.

Meanwhile, Anthony Mack also had zero points, leaving the Canes’ with three players in their already fragile seven-deep rotation with just two combined points.

UM would keep the game close for much of the afternoon, in large part thanks to their effort on the defensive end. The Hurricanes forced 14 turnovers compared to just seven giveaways, as Virginia shot under 50 percent from the field at just 42.3.

But facing a rebounding deficit of 42-24 proved far too much to overcome for the Canes, losers of five straight conference games.

The Cavaliers scored near the basket just as well as they rebounded, churning 11 points out forward Mamadi Diakite and seven out of Jack Salt. Salt also had a team-high nine rebounds on his way to a near double-double.

Guard De’Andre hunter was also productive for the home team, with a team-high 14 point and six rebounds. Each rotational player for Virginia averaged six rebounds over the course of the game, reenforcing their advantage on the glass.

Down 28-21 at halftime, Miami was successfully kept the game within reach for much of the day. With just seven-and-a-half minutes remaining in the game, the Canes trailed by just six points.

A 10-3 UVA run however, put the game largely out of reach for UM, falling behind 55-42 with less than three minutes to play.

The Hurricanes, tied for last place in the ACC, will have a winnable game on their hands next time they are in action, when Notre Dame comes to Coral Gables Wednesday night. The Irish defeated Boston College Saturday but had a five-game losing streak of their own coming into the weekend.