In center Reggie Johnson‘s first game of the season, the Miami Hurricanes squeaked by the Florida Atlantic Owls 93-90 in double overtime in the first game of the annual Orange Bowl Classic. Miami and FAU combined for 29 three-pointers in UM’s highest-scoring output since December 30 last year when they defeated Pepperdine 94-59.
The Hurricanes have struggled in non-conference play thus far, dropping four of their last five before Saturday’s win as they approach ACC play beginning January 7 against Virginia. Expected to compete for a third of fourth place finish in the conference, Miami now sits 6-4 with three non-conference games remaining before beginning ACC competition.
FAU guard Omari Grier tied it up at 72 late in regulation with a three-pointer to send the game to overtime, where the Canes and Owls traded threes for much of the first OT period. Greer hit a three with under a minute remaining to tie it at 82 with 33 seconds to go in the period. Miami could not convert on the final possession of the first overtime, as the game headed to its second overtime period.
The Hurricanes came out strong in the second overtime to pull ahead five. Canes guard Malcolm Grant missed two free throws with Miami up 93-90 with under ten seconds left to keep the Owls in it, but Grier missed his final three-point attempt and Miami held on for the win.
In his first game back, Johnson finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, five blocks, and five assists. His return gives Miami a presence down low, where he averaged 9.6 rebounds per game a year ago–28th in Division I.
Forward Kenny Kadji led the Hurricanes with 21 points, as five Hurricanes finished with double-digits–Durand Scott (18), Rion Brown (15), Johnson (15), Trey McKinney-Jones (10). Miami finished 14-of-20 from three-point range, while FAU finished 15-of-30.
Grier led the Owls with 27 points thanks in large to seven three-pointers, while the 5’6 Raymond Taylor finished with four three-pointers and added 20 points of his own. Forward Kore White (18 points) and guard Alex Tucker (13) made it four Owls in double-digits.
Next up for UM is a road contest against the University of North Carolina at Charlotte on December 22. FAU falls to 4-7 ahead of their road trip to face Harvard on December 22.