Miami basketball runs away from North Florida

The Miami basketball team went on an early 13-0 run and defeated North Florida 95-55 on Friday night in Coral Gables.

Dec 29, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes forward AJ Casey (23) drives to the
Dec 29, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes forward AJ Casey (23) drives to the / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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The Miami basketball team used two 13-0 first-half runs to take a 42-27 halftime lead on their way to a 95-55 win over North Florida on Friday night. The biggest news on Friday night is that leading scoring Wooga Poplar played only 15 minutes after suffering what appeared to be a sprained ankle.

Poplar scored a season-low two points. There was no update on the seriousness of the Poplar injury or if he will need an MRI. Miami was also without Nijel Pack, who missed his second straight game. Norchad Omier led Miami with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Omier set his Miami career high in points.

North Florida leads the country in three-point attempts and makes this season. The Ospreys took 45 three-point attempts and made 10. Miami had one of its best games of the season defensively. North Florida shot 27.4 from the floor. That is lowest field goal percentage versus Miami this season.

Miami had five players finish in double figures. Seven Hurricanes played double figure minutes. Miami put North Florida away in the second half by going on their third 13-0 run of the game. That pushed the Miami lead to 59-32. Christian Watson replaced Poplar and scored 13 points in the second half.

Like Omier, Watson also finished with a career-high 14 points. Nine Hurricanes scored versus North Florida. Matthew Cleveland with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Bensley Joseph 11 points and 10 assists matched the double-double by Omier. Freshman Kyshawn George finished with 10 points, six rebounds and five assists.

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Miami is off until Wednesday. Clemson visits the Watsco Center as Miami resumes ACC play. Miami began ACC play earlier this month with a win over Notre Dame. Clemson is 18th in the Associated Press Top 25 and 17th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Tigers are 10-1 overall and 1-0 in the ACC.