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Omier Suffers Injury in Miami’s ACC Semifinals Loss to Duke



Photo Credit: LifeWallet Sports

Duke extended its winning streak to eight by defeating Miami, 85-78, in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils will face either Clemson or Virginia in Saturday’s championship game.

Duke’s largest lead of the game was only eight, but it maintained the advantage for the entirety of the second half.

UM starter and All-ACC forward Norchad Omier suffered a right ankle injury after landing on Duke’s Derek Lively II’s foot on a rebound with 18:56 remaining in the first half. Omier struggled to put weight on the injured foot after the play and was ruled out by Miami shortly thereafter.

Fortunately for Omier, X-rays showed that there was no breakage of his injured ankle, according to ESPN’s Holly Rowe.

“He sprained his ankle. It’s not broken,” Larrañaga said after the game about Omier’s status. “So we’ll just see day to day.”

Forwards Anthony Walker and AJ Casey, along with center Favour Aire received frontcourt minutes in Omier’s absence. The trio combined for eight points and three rebounds.

They had the responsibility of limiting the impact of Duke’s length, led by 7-foot-0 Kyle Filipowksi and 7-foot-2 Lively. The duo combined for 25 points and 17 rebounds. 

The Blue Devils controlled the boards, outrebounding Miami, 36-24.

Because of Omier’s injury, UM was forced to rely on the play of its guards.

Second-year guard Bensley Joseph was a force off Miami’s bench, scoring 10 points and generating a pair of steals. ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong provided tough shot-making against Duke’s defense, which entered Friday’s contest allowing only 64 points per game, ranking second in the conference. 

Wong scored a game-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field.

The Blue Devils continued their hot 3-point shooting streak, connecting on eight of their 16 attempts from deep. In their quarterfinal win over Pittsburgh, Duke shot 11-of-26 from beyond the arc.

“All credit to Duke. They shot the ball really well,” UM guard Jordan Miller said. “We just got to bounce back.”

The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with 12 lead changes between the two teams. Guard Jordan Miller led all scorers with nine points, but Duke’s well-balanced offensive attack spearheaded its 41-36 lead at the break.

Miller ended with 17 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

Needing a second-half spark, Larrañaga mixed in full-court pressure to speed up the Blue Devils, who totaled eight turnovers in the first half. This defensive wrinkle forced four more Duke giveaways, but it was not enough to prevent the ensuing offensive onslaught. The Blue Devils, led by 11 second-half points from Filipowski, shot 52% from the field and 40% from deep.

Miami will await its postseason destiny this Sunday when the NCAA Tournament bracket is released.



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