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Miami edges UCF, avenges last season’s loss

Nijel Pack scored 16 points, leading the Miami Hurricanes to a 66-64 win over the host UCF Knights on Sunday night in Orlando, Fla.

Wooga Poplar added 12 points and Jordan Miller had 11 to help the Hurricanes (6-1).

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With 1.4 seconds left and UCF trailing by two points, the Knights’ C.J. Walker could’ve tied the score with two free throws. However, Walker missed his first free throw. He missed the second one intentionally and the ball was batted out of bounds, ending the game.

The Hurricanes, who lead the series 9-3, avenged a 95-89 loss to UCF last season. Miami also snapped UCF’s streak of five straight games holding its opponent under 60 points.

UCF (5-2) was led by backup point guard Darius Johnson, who scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half. But UCF’s leading scorer, true freshman Taylor Hendricks, was held to eight points. He entered the game averaging 15.8 points.

Miami’s Isaiah Wong was held to eight points, but he made a pair of spectacular plays in the first half. First, the 6-foot-4 guard soared over 6-foot-10 Lahat Thioune to put down a dunk off a lob pass from Bensley Joseph. Then, Wong took two dribbles and beat the first-half buzzer with a 40-foot swish from the UCF logo.

Early on, the Knights led 17-15, when the Hurricanes went scoreless for 6:34, a drought that was snapped by Poplar’s fortuitous 3-point bank shot.

Poplar followed that with an emphatic dunk. Miami finished the half by making six of its final seven shots, taking a 32-26 lead into the break.

UCF rallied as a Johnson 3-pointer cut Miami’s lead to 51-47 with 9:03 left. The Knights cut their deficit to 65-64 on a 3-point play by Johnson with 11.3 seconds left.

But the Knights couldn’t get any closer.

For the game, UCF shot 4 of 17 on 3-pointers and Miami went 6 for 19 from deep. Another key was the foul line, where Miami shot 8 of 12 and UCF was 12 of 17.

–Field Level Media

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