Miami hangs on to beat Rutgers

Miami hangs on to beat Rutgers

Jordan Miller and Norchad Omier scored 17 points each as the Miami Hurricanes defeated the visiting Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 68-61, on Wednesday night as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Miller had a game-high 10 rebounds. Omier added nine rebounds, and Isaiah Wong got 16 points to power Miami (7-1), which rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit.

The Hurricanes are 8-1 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge over the past nine years.

Rutgers (5-2) was led by Clifford Omoruyi, who had 16 points and nine rebounds. Caleb McConnell added 16 points. Aundre Hyatt had 11 points, but he got just two in the second half and missed a crucial layup in the final minute.

The Knights lost despite a 21-7 advantage on offensive rebounds.

Miami’s Nijel Pack, who was averaging 13.0 points to start the game, missed his first eight shots and was scoreless in the opening half. However, he finished with eight points, including a huge 3-pointer in the final minute.

The Knights entered the week ranked eighth in the nation in fewest points allowed (52.8). But Miami shot 49.1 percent against Rutgers, including five 3-pointers in the second half.

Rutgers was without 6-6 guard Paul Mulcahy, who missed his fourth straight game due to a shoulder injury.

Neither team led by more than five points in a first half that finished with Rutgers on top, 34-33. The key for Rutgers was its 5-for-9 shooting on 3-pointers. Miami missed its first seven 3-pointers and went 1-for-9 from deep.

In the second half, the Knights stretched their lead to 46-35 on Omoruyi’s 3-pointer with 16:46 left.

Miami cut its deficit to 50-45 as Wong got a tip-in, a steal and a 3-pointer in a brilliant 20-second sequence.

The Hurricanes tied the score 56-56 with 6:09 left as Bensley Joseph scored on two straight layups — including off a steal — and Pack hit a 3-pointer. Those were Pack’s first points of the game, and they came after he had missed his opening eight shots.

Omier’s free-throw-line jumper with 1:26 left gave Miami a 63-61 lead, and Rutgers never recovered.

Hyatt missed an open layup that could have tied the score, but Pack followed by draining a top-of-the-key 3-pointer to give Miami a 66-61 lead with 22 seconds left.


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