Second half surge pushes Miami basketball to second straight Sweet 16

Mar 19, 2023; Albany, NY, USA; Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 19, 2023; Albany, NY, USA; Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami basketball team outscored Indiana 45-26 in the second half after the Hoosiers scored the first eight points after halftime and pulled away for an 85-69 victory on Sunday night. Miami earned a consecutive regional semifinal berth for the first time in school history. Isaiah Wong led Miami with 27 points.

Aside from the last 10 minutes of the first half and the first 2:18 of the second, the Miami basketball team dominated Indiana. Miami began the game with a 13-3 surge and eventually extended the lead to 28-15. That was the Hurricanes’ biggest lead of the first half. Indiana closed to 40-35 at halftime.

Miller Kopp hit a corner three-point shot just before the first-half buzzer. Indiana followed with an 8-0 run to begin the second half. Halfway through the second half, Miami had a 14-2 run to take a 63-51 lead. Indiana never got closer than seven the rest of the way. Late threes by Wong and Bensley Joseph pushed the lead to 15.

The Wong and Joseph three-point shots came 23 seconds apart giving Miami a 75-60 lead. Indiana had a slight surge to get within 69-60 but never seriously threatened Miami down the stretch. Miami also had big performances from Norchad Omier and Jordan Miller in the victory.

Omier set a Miami NCAA Tournament program record for the second straight game grabbing 17 rebounds versus Indiana. Omier had 14 in the win on Friday night versus Drake. Miami was able to overcome Omier playing only eight minutes in the first half after being called for his second foul.

Omier finished with seven points. Woogla Poplar was also limited in the first half with two fouls. Miller was sensational in the second half and finished with 19 points and five rebounds. Poplar injured his back in the second half after falling awkwardly and finished the night with six points.

Nijel Pack helped Miami get going early in the game and finished with 12 points. The night belonged to Wong and Omier. Wong scored only five points on 1-10 from the floor on Friday night. Wong seemingly scored whenever he wanted to versus Indiana finishing 9-17 from the floor, 4-6 on threes and 5-5 from the free throw line.

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Miami will return home on Monday morning. Next up for the Miami basketball team is number-one seed Houston in the Midwest Regional Final on Friday night in Kansas City. After making the Sweet 16 for the first time in consecutive years, Miami will try to match its 2022 Elite Appearance.