Miami basketball closes Drake with 16-1 run for 1st round NCAA win

Mar 17, 2023; Albany, NY, USA; Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2023; Albany, NY, USA; Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports /

It looked bleak for the Miami basketball team when Drake took a 55-47 lead on a Roman Penn jump shot with 5:40 remaining in the game. Miami did not allow another Drake field goal closing the game on a 16-1 run to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night in Albany with a 63-57 win.

With Jordan Miller and Isaiah Wong struggling throughout the game, Nijel Pack scored 21 points, Wooga Poplar had 15 and Norchad Omier finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds after being questionable all week with a sprained ankle. Miami simply gutted out a win making huge plays in the final 5:40.

The Miami basketball team was abysmal in the first half, making just seven of their 30 attempts from the field. Miami was able to stay in the game by making five of their nine first-half three-point attempts and trailed 30-25 at halftime. The two conference players of the year were anemic offensively on Friday night.

Isaiah Wong made one of his 10 shots from the floor, missed his only three-point attempt and connected on three of his four free throw attempts for seven points. Wong contributed in other ways with six rebounds, two assists and a steal. Miami held Tucker DeVries of Drake to 1-13 field goals and 1-11 on threes for three points.

DeVries was Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. Quietly DeVries contributed eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block. Miami could not stop 6’10, 275-pound Drake center Darrell Brodie who finished with 20 points on 9-15 from the floor and nine rebounds.

Brodie and Omier battled all night. Sardaar Calhoun came off the bench for Drake scoring 12 points by making four of his five three-point attempts. Point guard Roman Penn was the only other Bulldog in double figures with 11 points. Jim Larrananga praised Bensley Joseph for the defense he provided off the Miami bench.

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Miami received only three points off its bench with two from Joseph and one from Anthony Walker. The story of the night for Miami was the 16-1 run to close out the game. Miami had problems far too often this year at the end of games. On Friday night it was the opposite as Miami earned a win with guile closing the game out.