Miami Hurricanes survive to defeat Wake Forest 87-81

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 31: Lonnie Walker IV
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 31: Lonnie Walker IV /

Facing one of the ACC’s worst teams the Miami Hurricanes had to hold on late for an 87-81 victory over Wake Forest at the Watsco Center on Wednesday night.

The Miami Hurricanes took a lead they would hold for over 20 minutes less than four minutes into the game. The Hurricanes led eight to seven and would not relinquish the advantage until the Demon Deacons regained the lead at 41-40 just inside five minutes into the second half.

The Hurricanes were able to put the game away by going to the free throw line 29 times in the second half, making 20. That’s in line with their season average of 70.3 percent from the line.

It was a sluggish second half as Wake Forest went 10-15 from the line in final 20 minutes. In the first half, the Miami Hurricanes were 6-8 from the line, while the Demon Deacons did not attempt a free throw.

Miami led 35-31 at the break after leading by as many as nine in the first half. Wake Forest fought back to take the 41-40 lead. The had their last lead at 46-44. A Miami 6-0 run gave the Hurricanes the lead for good 50-46.

Miami gradually extended the lead with a 20-8 run over a six-minute stretch late in the second half. That gave Miami a 74-61 lead 2:40 left in the game. The Demon Deacons went on an 18-8 run over the next 2:09 to cut the lead to three.

Live Feed

SEC Basketball: 10 potential additions for the league if they ever expanded
SEC Basketball: 10 potential additions for the league if they ever expanded /

Busting Brackets

  • ACC Basketball: Ranking all head coaches heading into 2023-24 seasonBusting Brackets
  • NCAA Basketball Recruiting: Analyzing top 5 teams for 4-star C Emmanuel StephenBusting Brackets
  • NCAA Basketball Recruiting: Analyzing top 5 teams for 4-star Isaiah Johnson-AriguBusting Brackets
  • NCAA Basketball Recruiting: Analyzing top 7 teams for top-30 forward Khani RoothsBusting Brackets
  • Miami Basketball: Hurricanes get on the board in 2024 class with Austin SwartzBusting Brackets
  • Miami went five for six for the line to seal it. The Hurricanes continued to get balanced scoring. Five players scored in double figures. Lonnie Walker continued to lead the way with 19 points.

    Sam Waardenberg became the fifth different player to reach double figures since Bruce Brown went down with the foot injury. He had 12 points on 3-4 from three and 3-4 from the line. Ja’Quan Newton also came off the bench to contribute 16. Miami got 32 points off its bench. Wake had just four points from its bench.

    Anthony Lawrence‘s streak of three-straight games in double figures and six of his last seven ended. He had four points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals. He also had a streak of consecutive double-doubles also end. Dewan Huell had his fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Lykes contributed 13.

    Wake Forest placed four players in double figures. Bryant Crawford’s 23 and Chaundee Brown’s 20 led the way for Wake Forest.

    Next Game: Miami plays the last of its four-game stretch against teams with much lower RPIs. Miami is currently 17th. Virginia Tech at 68 was the highest ranking team the Hurricanes have played in that stretch.

    Next: What would Miami Basketball All-time starting five be?

    Miami travels to Boston College on Saturday. The Eagles are 14-10 overall, 4-7 in the ACC. They have lost four of their last five. BC does own wins over Duke and Florida State this season.