Miami Hurricanes Basketball: Second Half Comeback Falls Short, Canes Lose to Irish, 70-63; Miami Likely Heading to NIT


More from Miami Hurricanes Basketball

The Miami Hurricanes’ second half comeback attempts falls just short as they get eliminated by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 70-63. The Canes trailed by 18 at halftime, but an unbelievable second half effort pushed the Hurricanes out in front. Unfortunately, the whole was too much to overcome and the Hurricanes are likely headed to the NIT.

The first half was an absolute nightmare for the Hurricanes. Pat Connaughton hit his first four three-pointers in the first half and Notre Dame jumped all over Miami in the early going and took an 18-point lead into the halftime break.

The Irish shot lights out in the first half, shooting 62% and making eight three-pointers in that process. While Notre Dame seemingly couldn’t miss, Miami couldn’t make a shot. The Canes shot 34% in the first half, and only hit one one of their 10 three-point attempts. Miami had ONE assist in the first half. ONE.

While it all looked bleak for the Hurricanes, Miami made a run because of course.

Notre Dame didn’t miss anything in the first half, and for the first 12 minutes in the first half, they could hit anything. Like, LITERALLY anything. The Irish went on a 12 minute field goal drought that was ended by a Jerian Grant layup with 8:03 left to go in regulation.

In that span, Miami cut an 18-point lead and tied the game at 47 with 8:55 minutes to go in regulation. In fact, Miami was able to take the lead down the stretch when Sheldon McClellan knocked down 2 of his 10 points from the free-throw line to give Miami a 51-49 lead with 6:30 left to go in the game.

After that McClellan three, Notre Dame promptly followed it up with a 5-0 run to give them a 54-51 lead late into the game. Steve Vasturia hit a huge corner three to give Notre Dame the lead, and they never gave it back up to Miami. The Canes didn’t help their cause down the stretch as they went on a 2-for-12 drought as soon as they managed to get into the driver’s seat.

Tonye Jekiri had a double-double for Miami with 11 points and 11 rebounds, but was called on two horrible fouls down the stretch, the latter resulted in two Notre Dame free-throws that put the Irish up 5 with less than four minutes to play.

Despite a heroic comeback by Miami, and holding Notre Dame to 31% shooting, the Irish had enough at the end the edge out the Canes.

Jerian Grant struggled to get going all night offensively, but still finished with a respectable 13-point, 6-rebound, 6 assists night for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame had five players in double-figures, led by Vasturia’s 16 points.

Miami had four players in double-figures, but they did it on just 5 team assists. Notre Dame shared the ball at a San Antonio Spurs rate in the first half, and finished with 15 dimes as a team.

Angel Rodriguez led the Hurricanes with 15 points and played most of the second half, even with his banged up right wrist.

The Miami Hurricanes were an inconsistent team all season, and this game reflected that entirely. You saw how bad this team could be in the first half, but you also saw how good it could be in the second half. Miami hung tough with some of the best teams in the country, but it’s the horrible losses to the teams they should’ve beaten that will likely keep them out of the Big Dance.

Anything is possible on Selection Sunday, but with this loss, the Canes will probably be dancing next week, just not in the tournament they would’ve liked to be in.