Miami Tops No. 4 Indiana, 85-69, to Earn Second Straight Sweet 16 Bid

By Alex Schwartz

ALBANY, N.Y. – The fifth-seeded University of Miami men’s basketball team defeated fourth-seeded Indiana, 85-69, Sunday night at MVP Arena to claim a second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance.

Fourth-year junior guard Isaiah Wong scored a game-high 27 points for No. 16/15 Miami (27-7, 15-5 ACC) to help the team defeat No. 21/19 Indiana in a top-25 NCAA Tournament second-round showdown.

The Hurricanes jumped out to an 8-0 lead after just 2:13, connecting on four straight field goals after an opening miss. That helped Miami build an early 10-point edge, 13-3, after only 4:02, as it started 6-of-8 from the floor and Indiana (23-12, 12-8 B1G) opened just 1-of-6.

Aided by back-to-back 3-pointers, the Hurricanes extended their lead to 13 points, 28-15, with 9:52 on the first-half clock. The Hoosiers then scored 10 straight points in 99 seconds to close within three, 28-25, with 7:17 left in the frame. Miami countered with a 10-3 run, including eight points by Wong, to go back up by double digits, 38-28, with 3:05 to go.

Indiana eventually scored the final five points of the frame, including a buzzer-beating corner 3-pointer by senior forward Miller Kopp, to make it 40-35 at the break. Miami shot 55.2 percent (16-of-29) in the opening 20 minutes and notched an 8-2 margin in fast-break points.

The Hoosiers scored the opening eight points after halftime and, after never leading in the first half, gained their first advantage with 18:37 to go and upped it to 43-40 with 17:42 left. Miami, though, quickly recovered and soon logged a 16-2 surge in 4:49—it scored nine straight points in just 2:05 to end it—to go back up by a dozen, 63-51, with 8:15 remaining.

Indiana closed back within seven, but never got any closer. Miami eventually drilled back-to-back 3-pointers in the closing minutes to go up by 15 points, 75-60, with 3:26 to play. Although the Hoosiers made back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers, the Hurricanes continued to score at the other end, making their final seven shots and scoring the last eight points to win by 16 points, their largest margin of the night.

Miami finished with a 48.6 percent (34-of-70) clip from the field, including a 39.1 percent (9-of-23) ledger from 3-point range. The Hurricanes posted a dominant 48-31 margin on the glass and compiled more offensive rebounds (20) than Indiana had defensive rebounds (19). Head coach Jim Larrañaga’s team totaled a 29-11 cushion in second-chance points, 14-0 tally in bench points and a 46-28 ledger in paint points.

Wong’s 27-point performance came on a 9-of-17 shooting from the field, including a 4-of-6 mark from deep, along with a perfect 5-of-5 line on free throws. The ACC Player of the Year also grabbed eight rebounds in the win.

Fifth-year senior guard Jordan Miller amassed 19 points on 9-of-16 shooting, adding five rebounds and two blocks. Third-year sophomore guard Nijel Pack, an Indianapolis native playing against his home state school, scored 12 points in the win. Third-year sophomore forward Norchad Omier scored seven points and pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds to break the program’s NCAA Tournament single-game record he set two days prior.

Fourth-year junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, a First Team All-American, paced the Hoosiers with 23 points, eight rebounds and five blocks, finishing 7-of-10 from the field and 9-of-11 at the line. Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino scored 19 points, but Miami held him to 8-of-22 shooting, including a 3-of-11 clip from deep. Redshirt senior forward Race Thompson added 11 points.

Up next for Miami is a matchup with top-seeded Houston, ranked No. 2/1 nationally, Friday at 7:15 p.m. at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo., live on CBS.

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