Miami Hurricanes Basketball: Huge Second Half Leads #12 Notre Dame Past Miami, 75-70


The Miami Hurricanes were coming off their biggest win of the season after taking down Duke on Tuesday and their reward for that win was playing another top-15 team in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This time, the Hurricanes didn’t have enough to come out with another huge road win.

Jim Larranaga elected to go with Davon Reed in the starting lineup, replacing Omar Sherman. The thinking behind the move was to matchup with Notre Dame’s four-guard lineup.

Before the game, both teams got a nice boost in their respective rotations. The Hurricanes got Ivan Cruz Uceda after a 16-game suspension, while Notre Dame got Zach Auguste back after a one-game suspension for academic issues.

Both teams love taking — and making — threes, and this game started off that way .. except for the making part. The Canes missed their first three attempts from beyond-the-arc, but the team got it going for the rest of the half and made 5 of their next 8 attempts from three.

Notre Dame never got it going in the first half.

The Fighting Irish came into the game making almost 9 three’s, but the Irish only hit 2 three’s in 13 first-half attempts. The Irish shot 40% in the first half and it helped Miami lead for all 20 first-half minutes.

In the first 6 minutes of the second half, Notre Dame still couldn’t buy a basket. They literally had no made field goals in the first 6 minutes of the half. This helped the Hurricanes go on a 13-2 run to start the half and jump out to their biggest lead of the game at 43-31.

It appeared that the Canes had taken control of the game, but then the shots started to fall for Notre Dame — and they started hitting threes. V.J. Beachem knocked down a pair of threes and it jumpstarted the Irish into hitting 4 consecutive threes to quickly cut the ‘Canes lead to just 5.

After a tough and-1 finish by Sheldon McClellan, Notre Dame continued their barrage and took their first lead of the game with 9:31 left in the second half after a Steve Vasturia runner in the lane that put the Irish up 52-50.

With Angel Rodriguez struggling all game long, the Hurricanes needed to find a spark and they got one from a pair of freshman.

Ja’Quan Newton played his best game as a Hurricane, scoring 16 points and adding in 5 assists. Newton was the best player for Miami for pretty much the entire game and Miami would’ve been really behind without him. Another freshman, James Palmer, really stepped up late in the second half and hit a couple of tough shots to keep Miami in the game. Palmer had 11 points for Miami.

As good as Newton and Palmer were for the Canes, the best player on the floor was Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant. Miami couldn’t find an answer for Notre Dame’s leading scorer and he burned them for 23 points on 8-for-10 shooting.

Having Grant go off for a ton of points wasn’t the only thing Miami had to deal with in the second half. The Irish hit 7 of their 9 three-pointers in the second half and it just felt like everything they were putting up was going in. The five guard lineup really took Tonye Jekiri out of the game and it was just a difficult matchup for the Canes.

Angel Rodriguez and Manu Lecomte combined for 47 points in the win against Duke, but they were limited to 7 points and they missed 12 of the 14 shots they put up. It’s tough to win on the road when your two guards play that poorly.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad performance by the Hurricanes. They led for 30 minutes so that makes this loss really tough to swallow. But the Hurricanes beat #4 Duke and hung in with #12 Notre Dame the entire game, and both of those games were on the road. Miami is finally back home and will host a really talented NC State team that took down Duke a game before the Hurricanes did. Make sure to be at the BankUnited Center on Thursday and be really, really loud.

The Miami Hurricanes fall to 12-5 on the year and 2-2 in ACC Play.