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Thanks to Balanced Attack, Miami Outlasts Virginia Tech

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Photo Credit: Miami Athletics

The Hurricanes didn’t defeat Virginia Tech on Tuesday night as a result of a stellar performance by any one player; instead, UM utilized a balanced effort by its starting lineup to win its final road game of the season, 76-70. 

Sophomore forward Norchad Omier led all players with 17 points. Omier also had a game-high 14 boards, six of which were offensive.

To complement Omier, guard Nijel Pack had 16 points, while Isaiah Wong had 13. Senior Jordan Miller and sophomore Bensley Joseph also scored in double digits with 11 and 10 points, respectively. 

The Hokies stormed out of the gate and set the game’s early tone. Fueled by its tenacious defense and swift ball movement, Virginia Tech raced out to a 17-8 lead with 12:23 remaining in the first half. This was Miami’s largest deficit since its Jan. 14 matchup against North Carolina State.

The Hurricanes then responded, taking the lead on a 14-2 run in just under a four-minute span. Omier spearheaded this run, scoring six points during this stretch. 

Miami took a 36-32 lead into the break, with Omier leading all players with 10 points and leading the Hurricanes with five boards. Fourth-year guard Isaiah Wong scored six of his eight first-half points in the final 2:27 of the period.

Wong’s stepback 3-pointer with 52 seconds remaining gave him his 1,718th career point, moving him into fifth place on Miami’s all-time scoring list. 

Hokies leading scorer Grant Basile struggled in the first half, scoring only two points on 1-of-3 shooting from the field. 

This was not the case in the second half. 

Basile, as he has been for much of the season, was the early offensive focus for the Hokies coming out of the break. The senior forward had seven of the Hokies’ first 12 points of the second half, including a fastbreak layup that cut Miami’s lead to just one with 13:42 left in the game.

The Hokies fought through adversity later in the half yet again. They cut Miami’s 10-point lead to as little as three with 5:53 remaining. The Hurricanes did enough to prevail, fending off Virginia Tech’s multiple comeback attempts in their six-point victory.

With the win, the Hurricanes have extended their win streak to seven, their longest ACC streak since they started conference play 13-0 during the 2012-13 season.

Miami’s win streak is also the longest active streak by any major conference team.

Next up, Miami will face in-state rival Florida State on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Watsco Center. The Hurricanes won by 23 in the first installment this year between the in-state rivals.

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