Shorthanded Miami basketball loses to Florida Gulf Coast

Dec 12, 2020; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2020; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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Playing shorthanded the Miami basketball team lost 66-62 to Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday at the Watsco Center.

Point guard Chris Lykes was out for the second straight game and backcourt mate Kameron McGusty and backup center Rodney Miller were lost during the game as the shorthanded Miami basketball team lost 66-62 to Florida Gulf Coast. McGusty played three minutes and Miller lasted only two minutes before leaving.

Both McGusty and Miller exited the game with leg injuries. Miami missed the depth. Isaiah Wong played all 40 minutes in the backcourt and third guard Harlond Beverly had to play 39. The inability for Miami to guard the three-point line was the difference in the loss. The Eagles made 13 of their 30 three-point attempts.

Miami knew FGCU was going to put up a lot of threes. The Eagles entered the game averaging 28 three-point attempts per game but making only seven for 25 percent. Miami had another abysmal performance on three-point attempts making just 3-19 after making 1-17 against Purdue in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge on Wednesday.

Guard Caleb Cotto and forward Dakota Rivers did most of the damage beyond the arc. Catto finished 7-12 from the floor, 4-7 on three-point attempts and finished with 18 points. Rivers scored all 15 of his points on 5-11 on three-point attempts. Miami stayed in the game with a 44-28 rebounding advantage.

Wong led Miami with 20 points, center Nysier Brooks had 13 points and 15 rebounds and sophomore forward Anthony Walker came off the bench to score 12 points. Beverly finished with nine points, five rebounds and four assists. Miami basically went with a six-man rotation with Deng Gak and Matt Cross playing significantly.

The Hurricanes goal for their ACC opener on Wednesday is to get healthy. Injuries and a lack of depth have hurt Miami the past two seasons. Transfer guard Elijah Olayini could gain eligibility soon according to a report released on Friday by The Athletic that all first-time transfers will receive an exemption this season.

Next. Miami basketball rally stuns Purdue. dark

Next up for Miami is Pittsburgh in the ACC opener on Wednesday. The Panthers had their own big comeback in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge defeating Northwestern in Evanston. Pittsburgh is 3-1 this season. The Panthers are projected to finished 13th in the 15 team ACC while Miami is picked to finish seventh.