Guard-forward Issa Thiam dropped in two free throws with 21.9 seconds left to seal Rutgers’ 57-54 victory over Miami Wednesday night in an Atlantic Coast Conference-Big Ten Challenge matchup in Coral Gables, Fla.
Chris Lykes had a 3-pointer blocked and Zach Johnson missed another from behind the arc in the closing seconds, and guard DJ Vasiljevic saw his desperation 3-pointer from beyond midcourt bounce off the rim as the Hurricanes (5-2) dropped their second in a row.
Guard Geo Baker scored 16 points, guard Peter Kiss 12, and forward Eugene Omoruyi had 11 for the Knights (5-1). Thiam ended with 7 points.
Guard Anthony Lawrence scored 16 points to lead the Hurricanes. Johnson and center Ebuka Izundu had 12 points each, and Izundu added 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
Rutgers fell into a 13-4 hole early before the Hurricanes hit a scoreless drought that lasted for nearly five minutes. That allowed the Knights to go on an 11-0 run and take their first lead of the game at 15-13 on guard Peter Kiss’ jumper at the 8:52 mark of the first half.
The Knights eventually worked their way to a six-point cushion, 28-22, with 1:40 left before going into the intermission holding a 28-24 advantage.
Both teams were cold early with Rutgers starting the game 7-of-20 from the field and Miami 7-of-21, but the Knights finished the opening period on a 6-of-11 run. The Hurricanes continued to struggle and finished the half just 9-of-29 (31.0 percent) from the floor and 4-of-15 from 3-point range.
The Knights went up 32-24 at the start of the second half before the Hurricanes went on an 8-0 run to catch up at 32-32. They held a brief 37-34 lead on on a Johnson layup, and the teams began swapping leads.
The loss snapped Miami’s four-game winning streak in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and also ended a 19-game home winning streak over nonconference foes for the Hurricanes.
—Field Level Media