A late lapse of judgment by freshman backup guard Harlond Beverly on an unnecessary foul with eight second remaining put Virginia point guard Kihei Clark on the line for the game-winning free throws in a 46-44 victory over the Miami basketball team Wednesday night.
The Miami basketball team fought hard against Virginia in a brutal 46-44 loss to the defending national champions on Wednesday night at the Watsco Center. A poor lapse of judgment by freshman guard Harlond Beverly who fouled Cavaliers’ point guard Kihei Clark in a tie game with eight seconds remaining.
The foul came after Sam Waardenburg missed a layup with 14 seconds remaining in another heartbreaking loss at the end of the game. Miami assistant coach Chris Caputo stated after the game that the bench was calling for a foul on Waardenburg’s shot and that Beverly interpreted that to foul Clark.
Despite the costly mistake by Beverly, the Miami basketball team still had a chance to tie or win the game following the Clark free throws. A Dejan Vasiljevic runner with one second remaining rimmed out, Beverly got the rebound but his follow up missed and likely would not have counted.
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It was another missed opportunity in a season full of them for Miami. It was reminiscent of the Hurricanes’ loss to Florida State in January when they could not put the Seminoles away with a nine-point lead with three minutes remaining. The Hurricanes dropped to 14-15 overall, 6-13 in the ACC with the loss.
Miami is in a three-way tie for 12th in the ACC with North Carolina and Wake Forest. The Hurricanes defeated the Demon Deacons but lost to the Tar Heels. Miami is a game behind Virginia Tech and Boston College who they both defeated to move up to at least 10th in the ACC to avoid playing in the first round of the ACC Tournament.
The Hurricanes fought hard the entire game behind junior guard Chris Lykes who scored 16. Lykes was lost for the game with 12:11 remaining when he caught an elbow from Waardenburg after a scramble following a Virginia miss. The Hurricanes trailed 33-30 when Lykes went out.
As expected anytime playing Virginia the game replicated the pre-shot clock era in the NBA. Virginia led 14-9 with six minutes left in the first half before both teams had a scoring flurry to close the opening 20 minutes. The Hurricanes outscored the Cavaliers 14-10 in the last six minutes of the half to trail 24-23 at halftime.
Jay Huff carried the Virginia offense in the first half scoring 17 points. Lykes scored 12 points in the first half and finished as the only Miami basketball player in double figures. Isaiah Wong went 0-5 from the floor and was held scoreless to break a 10 game streak of reaching double figures in points.
Miami will host Syracuse on Saturday needing a win and some help to avoid playing on Tuesday in the first round of the ACC Tournament. The Hurricanes own the tiebreaker against everyone except North Carolina who they are battling for position in the standings. Saturday will be the final home game for Vasiljevic.