Miami basketball survives defeating Duke 77-75

Feb 1, 2021; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 1, 2021; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Elijah Olaniyi returned after missing the Saturday loss to Wake Forest and scored 21 points as the Miami basketball team defeated Duke 77-75 on Monday night at the Watsco Center. Olaniyi reached his Miami career-high in points. Isaiah Wong and Anthony Walker each scored 16 as the only Hurricanes in double figures.

Miami had to hold off Duke in the second half after taking the lead for good on an Olaniyi layup with 9:35 remaining. The Hurricanes extended the lead to six a double of times in the second half but were never able to pull away. Duke had a chance to tie or win the game but they were unable to get a shot off before the buzzer.

The win is just the third in the ACC for the Miami basketball team against a conference worst nine losses. Miami did just about everything well as a team to earn the victory. The Hurricanes shot 52.5 percent from floor, made seven of their 13 three-point shots and held Duke to five of 18 on three-point attempts.

Miami shot 60.7 percent from the floor in the second half and made five of its six three-point attempts. The game was tight throughout with neither team leading by more than six points. Duke lead 39-33 early in the second half for its biggest lead. The Hurricanes lead by six multiple times. Miami snapped a four-game losing streak.

Free-throw shooting almost cost Miami the game. Wong missed the front end of a one-and-one with four seconds remaining prior to the final Duke possession. Olaniyi missed two free-throws and Walker one over the final 1:15. Miami finished 8-13 for the game. Walker made two free throws and Olaniyi one in the final 1:15.

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After its fourth game in nine days, Miami will be off until Saturday. The Hurricanes host number 16 Virginia Tech. The 13-3 Hokies are 7-2 in the ACC a game behind Virginia in the loss column in second place. Virginia Tech defeated Miami 80-78 in Blacksburg earlier this season the same night as Miami’s Cheez-it Bowl loss.