Miami basketball gets most important win this season at Virginia Tech

The Miami basketball team overcame a woeful offensive start to win 75-71 at Virginia Tech on Saturday night.

Jan 13, 2024; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Wooga Poplar (5) drives to the
Jan 13, 2024; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Wooga Poplar (5) drives to the / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
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The win last week over Clemson was the biggest for the Miami basketball team this season. Miami earned its most important win of the season at Virginia Tech on Saturday. Miami needed the win at Virginia Tech after an inexplicable home loss to Louisville on Wednesday night. The Hurricanes improve to 12-4 with the win.

Miami got off to a slow start offensively. The Hurricanes trailed 30-21 with 1:48 left in the first half. Miami finished the first half with an 8-0 run to trail 30-29 at halftime. The Hurricanes extended the run to 10 points with the first score of the second half. There were multiple ties and lead changes through the second half.

A Kyshawn George three-point shot that banked in with 2:21 remaining in the game put Miami in front to stay 69-66. Virginia Tech had a chance to tie with seven seconds left, but M.J. Collins missed a three-point shot. Miami did an excellent job defensively, forcing Virginia Tech star Sean Padulla to pass the ball.

Padulla scored 33 points on 13-23 from the floor, made five of his 13 three-point attempts, had 10 rebounds and four assists. The other Virginia Tech players made 15 out of 35 attempts from the floor. Center Lynn Kidd was the only other Hokie in double figures with 16 points and added eight rebounds.

Matthew Cleveland led Miami with 21 points and had four rebounds. Cleveland kept Miami in the game for most of the first half with 12 points and three rebounds. Nijel Pack got going late in the first half, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds. Pack had 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the game.

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Norchad Omier and Wooga Poplar each scored 11 for Miami. Florida State comes to the Watsco Center on Wednesday in the next game for Miami. It will be the first game for Cleveland against his former program. Cleveland hit a game-winning buzzer-beater for the Seminoles to beat Miami last season.