University of Miami

No miracles from the Miami Hurricanes this time in their loss to the Duke Blue Devils

Miami's Dewan Huell (20) fought for a rebound with Duke's Marvin Bagley III (35) and Wendell Carter Jr. (34) during a game in Miami in January.
Miami's Dewan Huell (20) fought for a rebound with Duke's Marvin Bagley III (35) and Wendell Carter Jr. (34) during a game in Miami in January. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

This time, there was no miracle Miami win over Duke. The fifth-ranked Blue Devils rallied from a 13-point, second-half deficit and beat No. 25 Miami 83-75.

Five Takeaways from the game:

▪ There is a reason Duke is ranked No. 5 and averaging 93 points per game. The Blue Devils have so many weapons, and used them to rally from a 13-point second-half deficit. Trailing 66-53, Duke went on an 18-0 run and outscored Miami 27-4 over a stretch to put the game away. Gary Trent went 6 of 9 from three-point range, including two in a row to start that 18-point streak, and scored a game-high 30 points.

Freshmen Wendell Carter and Marvin Bagley III both had double-doubles. Carter had 15 points, 14 rebounds. Bagley had 13 points, 12 rebounds.

“This was a big-time win for us,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. “Jim [Larrañaga’s] team is always really good. They completely dominated us the first nine minutes of the second half. They made us look bad and we made us look bad. But the last 11 minutes, we were so good.”

▪ UM freshmen Chris Lykes and Lonnie Walker showed they are big-time players. Walker, who struggled early in the season, is looking more and more comfortable as a starter at the wing. Little Lykes electrifies the crowd with his energy and circus shots. Walker went 5 of 8 from beyond the arc and led UM with 19 points. He also had four steals. Lykes added 13 points and a pair of pretty assists.

▪ DJ Vasiljevic’s three-point shot is MIA. The Australian sophomore, known for his sharp shooting from distance, took three shots all night and missed all three. He played only six minutes, and was not a factor in the game. “We rely so heavily on him to make threes, it puts a lot of pressure on him,” Larrañaga said. “He needs to take eight, 10,12 threes a game to really get in a groove. We don’t find him often enough and we found a lineup that was working well [without Vasiljevic]. I love to coach him and love him as a player, but he’s in competition with Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker at the wing. They’re bigger, more athletic, and in an open court game, I was sticking with Bruce and Lonnie.”

▪ Dewan Huell continues to impress. The UM sophomore forward had 18 points, 13 rebounds, and is UM’s most consistent player at this point in the season. “The Huell kid was really spectacular tonight,” Krzyzewski said. “He was their leading scorer coming in. He runs. He rebounds. He ran the court as well as anybody I’ve seen this year except Bagley. He changed ends, Boom!, he’s there. He is playing very well.”

▪ Miami needs to get better at defending the three-point shot and attacking the zone defense. Coming off a game in which they allowed Clemson to make 12 three-pointers, the Canes gave up 11 to the Blue Devils. As for the zone, Duke switched to a 2-3 zone after Miami took a 13-point lead and that helped neutralize the Canes over the next five minutes. “I thought we played a great 32 minutes, but they switched to the zone, and we couldn’t buy a basket,” Larrañaga said. “Against the zone, you gotta make shots. We tried different offensive sets, but our guys were very hesitant. They like to drive to the basket and get their points that way, and against a zone, you have to make shots.” Walker added: “We have to be more aggressive with the zone and go downhill to the basket, not just pass back and forth east-west. We were playing with emotion and passion, and then the gas tank went to E and we got careless.”

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