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Jan 29, 2024 5:09 pm

With balanced attack, Miami out to extend NC State’s skid

Two teams in the middle of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings will meet Tuesday night when Miami visits North Carolina State in Raleigh, N.C., as both try to improve their postseason chances.

NC State (13-7, 5-4 ACC) is looking to stop a three-game skid. After a 77-65 loss at Syracuse on Saturday, NC State coach Kevin Keatts was searching for answers.

“I thought this was our worst game we have played the entire year,” Keatts said. “Typically, you would lose a game like this by 30.”

The Wolfpack were down 38-22 to Syracuse at the half and made the score respectable. Sharpshooting guard DJ Horne led NC State with 15 points but struggled with 3-of-10 shooting on 3-point attempts.

“We’ve got to fix our mistakes, for sure, and just come together as a team, as one,” Horne said. “The sooner we can do that, I think the quicker we can get out of this slump, these slow starts, and get back into the win column.”

Horne is the Wolfpack’s leading scorer at 14.8 points per game, supported by forward DJ Burns (12.0) and guard Casey Morsell (11.9).

Miami (14-6, 5-4) survived a scare to beat Pitt 72-68 at home Saturday. The Hurricanes saw a 19-point lead shrink to two with 10 seconds left.

“We only had eight turnovers, that’s really a key for us,” Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said after the game. “We defended well. And we outrebounded them 41-37; those numbers indicate winning. When you defend, when you rebound, when you don’t turn the ball over, you’re going to have a good chance for success.”

Norchad Omier leads Miami with 18.1 ppg, but the Hurricanes also attack with a trio of guards: Wooga Poplar (14.8 ppg, 46.4 percent on 3-point attempts), Matthew Cleveland (14.8 ppg) and Nijel Pack (14.2 ppg, 3.8 assists per game).

NC State leads the series 15-14, but Miami has won three of the past four matchups.

–Field Level Media

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