LINCOLN (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The University of Miami men’s basketball team is looking to get things back on the right track.READ MORE: Shooting Investigation at Miami Gardens Gas Station
Riding high after a Puerto Rico Tip Off tournament victory vaulted it into the Top 25, Miami was brought down to earth by a last-second loss to Northeastern upon its return home.
Now it’s back on the road on Tuesday night – in a much colder locale and more hostile environment – against Nebraska, a historic football rival which would love to knock the Hurricanes all the way out of the top 25.
The Hurricanes dropped two spots to No. 21 after Northeastern’s Quincy Ford hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer in a game that saw the Huskies hit their first six 3s in building a 13-point lead.
“We have to improve our 3-point defense,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga told reporters after the game. “It was like we played badly or weren’t ready to play. I thought [the Huskies] just were a little bit on fire. To start the game, they were unconscious.”
Nebraska, which is coming off a solid win over Tennessee in Brooklyn, gets the Hurricanes at home for the second time in three years in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Coach Tim Miles’ team dominated the Hurricanes in that game, earning a 60-49 victory.
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ABOUT MIAMI (5-1): The Hurricanes shot better than 50 percent for the fifth game in a row (54.2 percent), but the Huskies outscored Miami 36-18 on 3-point shots as Miami hit only 6-of-17.
While guard Davon Reed led the way with19 points, a trio of other Hurricanes continued their consistent play with guard Sheldon McClellan topping 16 points for the fifth time in six games with 18, reserve guard Ja’Quan Newton hitting double figures for the fifth time in six games with 13 and 7-footer Tonye Jekiri having his fifth double-digit rebounding effort with 12.
The bench is averaging 28.3 points but managed only 17 against Northeastern.
ABOUT NEBRASKA (5-2): Shavon Shields, a 6-7 foward, is the Huskies’ senior leader and has been doing a little bit of everything – averging 13.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists a game.
Junior guard Andrew White III, a transfer from Kansas where he spent two seasons mostly riding the bench behind Andrew Wiggins and Ben McLemore, is the team’s leading scorer (14.9 ppg), while backcourt mate Tai Webster, a spark off the bench last season, is coming off an impressive two-game showing in Brooklyn, scoring 21 in a narrow loss to Cincinnati and 18 in the win over Tennessee.
The Huskers have outrebounded their foes by 9.6 boards a game and will likely need that type of dominace to beat the Hurricanes.
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- Miami is 0-4 on the road in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
- Miles has had some recruiting luck in the Southern hemisphere with Webster, who is from New Zealand, and freshman forward Jack McVeigh, an Australian averaging 7.4 ppg, on his roster.
- Given Miami’s 3-point defensive woes against Northeastern, expect the Huskies to launch plenty of long-distance shots considering they are taking an average of more than 22 3 attempts per game and hitting 37.3 percent of them.
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