By Russell Hanson
Miami- Chris Lykes and Zach Johnson both go for 20+ points but it wasn’t quite enough as the Hurricanes fell short losing 87-82 to the NC State Wolfpack.
The Hurricanes got off to an impressive start defensively holding the typically efficient NC State offense to less than 40% from the field midway through the first half. Miami was able to end the first half on a great note forcing 6 turnovers and turning them into a 17-2 run to end the half with a 45-37 lead. That lead would hold until just over 6 minutes remained in the game.
NC State took a 75-74 lead on a Devon Daniels layup and would never look back. The Hurricanes were held scoreless for a 7 minute stretch to balloon NC State’s lead to 85-78.
Miami did manage to force a few big turnovers to bring the game back within 3 but couldn’t quite find the basket they needed. Zach Johnson drive to the rim late to try and bring Miami within 1 but was blocked by Devon Daniels.
The Canes depth issues were an obvious factor in the game as NC State was able to wear the Canes down. Anthony Lawrence and Anthony Mack both we’re dealing with cramping late in the second half. In addition, the Hurricanes were out rebounded 51 to 29 and only shot 55% from the free throw line.
After the game, Coach L said “if we would’ve just hit a couple more free throws, things would’ve been very different.” Larranaga then went on to mention that, “it’s been a very long time since we were out rebounded that badly.”
Chris Lykes finished with a team and career high 28 points on 10-15 shooting and 3-4 from 3pt range. When asked about Lykes, NC State coach Kevin Keatts said, “he’s fast, man…typically guys that are that fast can’t shoot very well but Lykes can do both.” Keatts also touted Lykes’ ability on the defensive side of the ball.
Zach Johnson also added 21 while Izundu recorded his 5th triple double of the year with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Markell Johnson les the way for the Wolfpack scoring 20 points while Devon Daniels contributed 19. Braxton Beverly (11) and CJ Bryce (10) also recorded double digits.
There were a lot of positives for Coach Larranaga’s squad and he touted how they “played their hearts out” in the post game presser. Coming into the game, a big deal was made of how high pressure and fast paced NC State liked to play and it showed tonight. One positive for the Hurricanes was that they only committed 7 turnovers which is well below their season average. Lykes and Johnson only had 3 despite carrying the ball handling load for the team.
Another bright spot was Miami held NC State to 45% shooting which is below their season average of 52.6% (3rd best in the country).
Miami will go on the road Sunday to play Louisville in their next game before traveling to Tallahassee to play the #9 Florida State Seminoles.