Miami basketball fails to get over hump losing at North Carolina State

The Miami basketball team was close most of the night, but only led for 1:50 in a 74-68 loss at North Carolina State on Tuesday night.

Jan 30, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Jayden Taylor (1)
Jan 30, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Jayden Taylor (1) / Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports
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North Carolina State held the lead for 35:41 in a 74-68 win over the Miami basketball team on Tuesday night. Miami played without Matthew Cleveland for the second straight game. Nijel Pack scored 23 points, all in the second half. Pack played only 20 minutes in the first half in foul trouble.

Miami was never able to get over the hump versus North Carolina State. The game featured only eight lead changes and three ties. Wooga Poplar scored only 10 points on 3-16 from the floor, 1-6 on three-point attempts and 3-5 free throws. Poplar did contribute 10 rebounds.

Kyshawn George finished with five points on 2-9 from the floor and 1-7 on threes. George finished under double figures for the first time in four games. Norchad Omier had his fourth straight double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. D.J. Horne led North Carolina State with 24 points and Casey Morsell scored 17.

North Carolina State got off to a 12-4 run. Miami eventually caught North Carolina State and took its first lead when Bensley Joseph scored a fast break layup and made a free throw to complete a three-point play for a 25-23 Miami lead. The teams exchanged the lead three times before NC State took a 33-29 halftime lead.

North Carolina State had a 7-0 run after a Wooga Poplar three-pointer to open the second half and take a 40-32 lead. Miami took a 52-50 lead on a layup by freshman Michael Nwoko. North Carolina State answered with 6-0 and would never trail again. Miami was frequently within one possession the rest of the game.

The Hurricanes were not able to tie or take the lead in the final 8:20. Miami shot 36.4 percent from the floor and made just 7-28 three-point attempts. George, Joseph and Poplar combined for 21 points on 7-32 from the floor and 3-15 from three. Miami had to rely on Omier and Pack too much on Tuesday night.

Next. Matthew Cleveland out versus North Carolina State. Matthew Cleveland out versus North Carolina State. dark

Miami returns home on Saturday to host Virginia Tech. Duke beat Virginia Tech 77-67 on Monday night. Miami fell to 14-7 overall and 5-5 in the ACC. The Hurricanes have as many losses entering February this season as they began the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The five ACC losses match the 2023 regular season.