The Miami basketball team used a late 15-2 run and earned a critical 82-74 win over Virginia Tech at the Watsco Center on Saturday. Miami trailed 65-60 with 5:03 remaining when they began their run. Norchad Omier made two free throws, followed it up with a steal and basket and a Kyshawn George steal and score gave Miami the lead.
Miami was at full strength with forward Matt Cleveland back after missing the previous two games. Cleveland finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds, including five offensively. Miami outrebounded Virginia Tech 36-28. Omier finished with 16 points and seven rebounds before fouling out with 1:15 left.
After trailing 35-26 at halftime, Miami exploded in the second half. Miami outscored Virginia Tech 56-39 over the final 20 minutes. Miami outscored Virginia Tech 22-9 over the final 4:02. The 15-2 run occurred during that run. After nine turnovers in the first half, Miami had only two giveaways in the second half.
Five Miami players finished in double figures led by Kyshawn George and Omier with 16. Cleveland finished with 15 and Bensley Joseph had 14 off the bench. Joseph provided Miami with a big boost after starting when Cleveland was out. Joseph made 5-7 from the floor, 2-4 threes and both of his free throws.
Sean Padulla led Virginia Tech in scoring for the second straight game versus Miami. After scoring 33 last month, Padulla finished with 21 but made just three of 10 three-point attempts and two of six free throws. Padulla missed three free throws and Hunter Cattoor one in the final two minutes that hindered Virginia Tech.
Cattoor scored 19 points after missing the game versus Miami last month. Robbie Baran and Tyler Nickel each scored 10 points for Virginia Tech. Lynn Kidd led Virginia Tech with 11 rebounds and added six points. Cattoor and Padulla each had 13 in the second half. Their Hokie teammates combined for another 13.
Miami finished the afternoon 27 of 29 from the free throw line. Virginia Tech made 7-14 free throws. Miami was in the bonus early in the second half and aggressive in getting to the line. Miami made 22-23 free throws in the second half. Virginia Tech made just five of 10 second-half free throw attempts.
Miami has a quick turnaround. The Hurricanes play at Virginia at 7 PM ET on Monday. Virginia is playing at Clemson on Saturday afternoon. Miami improved to 15-7 overall and 6-5 in the ACC with the win. The Hurricanes need to continue earning quality wins in a push for a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.