Unbeaten no more: Miami upended by New Mexico State in Diamond Head Classic
HONOLULU (AP) — Zach Lofton scored nine of his 15 points in the second half and New Mexico State knocked off No. 6 Miami 63-54 on Saturday night in the Diamond Head Classic semifinals.
The Aggies (11-2) beat a ranked team for the first time in 10 seasons and handed the Hurricanes (10-1) their first loss, leaving Villanova, Arizona State and TCU the lone undefeated Division I teams in the country.
Lofton, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, added nine rebounds and three assists, and AJ Harris and Sidy N’Dir had 10 points apiece for the Aggies.
New Mexico State took the lead for good with 3:43 left in the first half on a baseline drive and basket by Johnathon Wilkins. That made it 23-21, and the Aggies led the rest of the way.
Miami cut it to 54-53 on Bruce Brown Jr.’s two free with 1:25 remaining, but Lofton made a deep 3-pointer from the right wing to make it a two-possession game.
DJ Vasiljevic led Miami with 15 points, Brown had 13, and Dewan Huell 10.
New Mexico State led at halftime 29-25 in the first meeting between the schools.
New Mexico State: It was the Aggies’ first win over a ranked opponent since March 3, 2007, when they beat then-No. 13 Nevada 80-73. They had lost their last 18 games against ranked opponents until Saturday.
Miami: The Hurricanes were held to one of their poorest shooting performances this season. They shot just 34 percent from the field (18 of 53), well below their season average of 49.6 percent. They entered the game averaging 76.8 points per game.
New Mexico State will try to make it five straight wins when it faces Southern California for the tournament title Monday.
Miami looks to get back into the win column against Middle Tennessee in the third-place game Monday.