Miami was able to get a road win against UCF with a final score of 66-64. It was a close win that came down to UCF missing free throws. The Miami Hurricanes were able to get a solid road win against a possible tourney team.
In the last couple games Miami has had a problem with getting into foul trouble. Against UCF, Miller, Pack, Omier, and Joseph had 2 fouls early in the first half. As a result of early foul trouble Jordan Miller only played 12 minutes in the first half. Nijel Pack and Norchad Omier played 9 and 7 minutes respectively as well.
Norchad Omier fouled out with a couple minutes left. Offensively, he had been dominant on the glass with 8 offensive rebounds. Last season at Arkansas State Omier fouled out of 7 games. Omier has played a large part in the team’s success so far, hopefully moving forward he doesn’t have as many issues with fouls.
Coach L was able to turn to guys like Harlond Beverly and AJ Casey when some of the starters got in foul trouble. There wasn’t a noticeable drop off when these guys were put in either. At the 6 min mark, Isaiah Wong, Bensley Joseph, AJ Casey, Wooga Poplar, and Anthony Walker/Favour Aire were the five on the floor. This group actually went on a 17-8 run which gave Miami the lead at the half.
Hopefully Miami is able to fix the fouling issues, but it is encouraging to see guys on the bench being able to contribute.
One key that I mentioned was Nijel Pack being able to get going offensively. Pack got into foul trouble early in the first half and was able to get into a rhythm. At the start of the second half Pack was very aggressive on offense, scoring 14 of his 16 points. There is no question that when Pack is confident and aggressive in finding his shot, this offense is very good.
Win against an in-state foe
Miami had a double-digit lead halfway into the second half, but UCF’s Daruis Johnson got hot. Johnson at one point scored 15 in a row for UCF and had a total of 22 points in the second half. At the end of the day, it is very hard to win on the road in college basketball. This will be a game that will help Miami’s resume on Selection Sunday.
Miami’s next game is at home against Rutgers in the ACC/Big Ten challenge on Wednesday night at 7:15 ET.