Miami Hurricanes Defense Fails Them in Loss at Wake Forest

The Miami Hurricanes have relied on their defense all season to succeed. Wake Forest shot 57.7 percent including, 63.6 percent in the second half in a 96-79 victory on Wednesday night in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Wake Forest jumped out to a 7-0 lead, would lead by as many as 18 in the first half and took a 14 point lead into the break. They led by as many as 23 points two in the minutes into the second half before Miami mounted a comeback.

Miami closed to 83-77 with 3:50 left in the game, but Wake went on a 13-0 run to put the game away. A Davon Reed layup closed out the scoring. The Hurricanes entered the game as one of the nation’s best defensive teams and ranked in the top five in the ACC in most defensive categories.

Wake entered the game as one of the nation’s best shooting teams and was able to keep that up against Miami. The Demon Deacons placed four players in double figures led by Palm Beach native John Collins with 27. Collins also added seven rebounds and was 9-9 from the free throw line.

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Guard Keyshawn Woods scored 20 and was 3-4 on three-point attempts. His backcourt mate Bryant Crawford had 14 and Michael Wilbekin added ten off the bench. As a team, the Wake Forest shot 9-19 from three-point range.

Miami didn’t score until more than four minutes had elapsed on the clock and they didn’t get their first field goal until almost five minutes into the game. On a night they had their worst defensive performance of the year, their offense continued to struggle.

Davon Reed continued to play well finishing with 24 points, but Anthony Lawrence was the only other Hurricane to finish in double figures with 16. Bruce Brown and Ebuka Izundu also had good games shooting the ball combining for 15 points on 7-11 from the floor.

Ja’Quan Newton had his third game of the season without scoring in double figures. He finished with nine points in 3-6 from the floor and 3-5 from the line.

The Hurricanes were an abysmal 8-23 on threes. DJ Vasiljevic was 1-6 with all of his field goal attempts coming from beyond the arc. Miami is likely to live and die with its defense and perimeter game this season.

The inside game continued to struggle. Izundu, Dewan Huell and Kamari Murphy combined for 17 points on 6-17 from the floor. They did rebound well with a combined 18 boards. Huell had has best game in over a month with nine points and the eight board, but shot just 3-9 from the floor.

Next Game: Miami concludes its three game road stretch with a trip to Duke on Saturday. The Blue Devils are 14-4 overall, 2-3 in the ACC. They have fallen to 18th in the rankings.

Duke has battled injury problems all season, including Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski who is out indefinitely after back surgery. Jeff Capel is the interim Head Coach.This will be the Hurricanes second straight game against a team that has had a week off.

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