Wong scores 24, No. 22 Miami outlasts No. 6 Virginia 66-64
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Isaiah Wong scored 24 points and No. 22 Miami held on in a frantic finish to beat No. 6 Virginia 66-64 on Tuesday night.
Jordan Miller finished with 11 points while Norchad Omier had 10 for the Hurricanes (12-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who snapped a six-game losing streak against the Cavaliers.
Miami led 61-51 on a free throw by Wong with 1:56 to play. Virginia (8-2, 1-1) went on an 8-0 run from there. Kihei Clark’s layup with 26 seconds left made it 61-59, and Clark made three free throws with 5 seconds remaining to get the Cavaliers within 65-64, but Virginia couldn’t finish it off and lost its second straight.
Nijel Pack made one of two free throws with 4 seconds left. Reece Beekman had a chance to tie it for Virginia, but he dribbled the ball off his leg and the buzzer sounded as it bounced away.
Ohio University transfer Ben Vander Plas scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half, his most for the Cavaliers. Clark had 13 points and Beekman finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
Wong had his fourth straight game of 20 or more points.
Down by 15 early in the second half, Virginia outscored Miami 14-2 and got within 43-42 on Vander Plas’ 3-pointer with 8:54 remaining.
Bensley Joseph hit consecutive 3-pointers and Wong’s four-point play helped Miami open a 26-12 lead in the first 10:45. Wong converted on a fadeaway from behind the arc while being fouled by Taine Murray.
Virginia got within 32-26 on Jayden Gardner’s jumper with 1:52 remaining before the Hurricanes closed the half with four unanswered points.
It was the first regular-season ACC game between AP Top 25 teams since Virginia and Florida State met on Feb. 15, 2021. Including postseason, there had been 221 consecutive games between ACC clubs where one, or neither, team held a spot in the Top 25. The Cavaliers and Hurricanes last played as nationally ranked teams in the semifinals of the ACC tournament on March 11, 2016.
Virginia: Coach Tony Bennett remained two victories away from matching Terry Holland for the most in school history. Holland guided the Cavaliers to a 326-176 record during his 16-year tenure that ended in 1990.
Miami: Wong and Pack logged heavy minutes. Wong played 37 minutes while Pack was on court for 36 after sitting the previous game with an illness.
Virginia: Hosts Albany on Dec. 28.
Miami: Hosts Vermont on Dec. 28.