Miami basketball pulls away in second half defeating St. Francis-PA

Dec 17, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami basketball team outscored St. Francis-Pennsylvania 54-39 in the second half to pull away for a 91-76 victory. Isaiah Wong continued his hot scoring streak with 22 points. Wong has 74 points in the last three games. Wooga Poplar scored a career-high 20 points on 7-11 from the floor, 2-4 three-pointers and 4-4 free throws.

The Miami basketball team continued their trend of slow starts with the game tied at 37 at halftime. Miami had better balance in the first half with Wong leading six players scoring with nine points. Wong had an outstanding all-around game with a career-high 10 assists, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

Wong led six Hurricanes in double figures. In addition to Poplar and Wong, Bensley Joseph and Norchad Omier had 14 and Jordan Miller and Anthony Walker each scored 10 points. Joseph had an excellent all-around game making 5-7 from the floor, 4-6 threes, seven rebounds and six assists.

Omier barely missed a double-double adding nine rebounds. Miami was very efficient offensively making 35 of their 66 shots from the floor while holding St. Francis to 42.6 percent from the floor. The Hurricanes shot a blazing 19-32 from the floor and made five of their 12 three-point attempts in the second half.

Center Josh Cohen with 30 points on 10-16 from the floor, 10-13 from the line and nine rebounds led St. Francis. Guard Landon Moore scored 25 points on 8-16 from the floor, 2-6 from three and 7-8 from the line. The remainder of the Red Flash players shot 8-29. Miami improves to 11-1 with the victory.

The Hurricanes will get their biggest test of the season when they host second-ranked Virginia on Saturday. Virginia hosts fifth-ranked 10-1 Houston on Saturday afternoon. The Cavaliers enter Saturday 9-0. Miami will have a chance to move up from 25th nationally in the polls released on Monday.

Next. Miami 1st ranking since 2018, Isaiah Wong National POW. dark

A win over Virginia would likely vault the Hurricanes into at least the top 20 nationally and potentially the top 15. Miami won its seventh straight game with the victory over St. Francis. The Hurricanes had a nine-game winning streak during the 2021-22 season. Miami hosts Vermont on December 28 in its last non-conference game.