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Jan 23, 2024 6:51 pm

Struggling Miami seeks to reverse fortunes vs. Notre Dame

Plagued by injuries, Miami has struggled since beating Notre Dame in early December.

Losers in four of five, the visiting Hurricanes can get back on track by handing the Fighting Irish a fourth consecutive ACC home defeat Wednesday night in South Bend, Ind.

When Miami (12-6, 3-4) shot 46.3 percent and held the Irish to 28.6 percent from the field during a 62-49 home win on Dec. 2, it was ranked eighth in the country and relatively healthy. Since then, the Hurricanes are 6-5 and mired in a rut while banged up.

Leading scorer and rebounder Norchad Omier (17.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg) had 13 points with 13 rebounds against the Irish, but he missed Saturday’s 72-69 loss at Syracuse with an ankle injury that leaves him uncertain for Wednesday’s game.

In addition, teammate Wooga Poplar (15.2 ppg) is also playing through a sprained ankle. Star guard Nijel Pack (14.3 ppg) has also been nicked up but has scored 19 in three straight.

Miami has allowed an average of 78.6 points and 35.3 percent shooting from 3-point range in the last five games. The four losses during that stretch were decided by a combined 25 points.

“Our players are going through some difficult times because they want to play great and are not physically capable of doing it at this moment,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said.

Notre Dame (7-11, 2-5) has also lost two straight and four of five, but is rebuilding under first-year coach Micah Shrewsberry. Though relying on mostly freshmen and sophomores, the Irish have been competitive with four league losses decided by single-digit margins.

However, they average an ACC-worst 13.6 turnovers, and they’re the conference’s worst shooting team — 40.2 percent, 29.7 from distance.

“Our margin for error is smaller, so we can’t do those things to put ourselves in the hole every single time,” Shrewsberry said.

With 39 points over the last two games, freshman Markus Burton (16.3 ppg) continues to pace the Irish. However, he was held to six points on 3-of-11 shooting at Miami.

Notre Dame last dropped four straight at home in 1992-93.

–Field Level Media

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