CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Isaiah Wong scored 27 points, Nijel Pack finished with a season-high 24 and No. 15 Miami beat Wake Forest 96-87 Saturday.
Norchard Omier had 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting while Jordan Miller added 14 points for the Hurricanes (22-5, 13-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their sixth straight and improved to 15-0 at home.
“Every game is one game,” Hurricanes coach Jim Larrañaga said. “You never know what’s going to happen on the next game. What I’m most proud of is these guys continue to compete home and away.”
Miami opened the second half with nine unanswered points. The Demon Deacons (17-10, 9-7) rallied from three double-digit deficits, including Andrew Carr’s 3-pointer with 2:22 left cutting Miami’s lead to 90-84. But Wong’s jumper and Miller’s layup provided Miami with a cushion. It was the Hurricanes’ largest point total in regulation since they joined the ACC in 2004-05.
Tyree Appleby scored 15 points and Damari Monsanto and Cameron Hildreth had 14 each for the Demon Deacons. Carr and Mathew Marsh finished with 12 points each.
Wong surpassed Jack McClinton for seventh on Miami’s career scoring list with 1,710 points. Pack followed his 23-point performance at North Carolina on Monday by going 9 of 17, including 4 of 8 from behind the arc.
“Just playing with confidence, obviously taking what the defense is giving me,” Pack said. “My teammates keep finding me and obviously my coaches running things for me. I am motivated and playing hard on the court.”
Appleby also had nine assists but committed 12 turnovers, tied for second most in a Division 1 game in the last 13 years.
“This was a hard loss today for us today because it was a Quad 1 opportunity on the road,” Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes said. “Miami wanted to knock us out a couple of times. We went to the canvas and spit it out and came back swinging. I respect that about my team.”
Wong scored all of Miami’s points during a 13-0 run late in the first half that helped the Hurricanes erase a three-point deficit. His fastbreak dunk with 3:53 remaining capped the surge and put Miami ahead 42-32. Wake Forest pulled within 3, 47-44, at halftime.
“It was kind of a heat check, I felt,” Wong said of his surge. “I scored my first one and kept on rolling. It was just a hot streak and I kept on shooting and it kept going in.”
The Hurricanes completed their 10th week in the AP Top 25. The NCAA tournament committee also has Miami on the periphery of a top four regional seed in its preliminary list released Saturday.
LIMITED SECOND HALF
Monsanto, of neighboring Pembroke Pines, converted four 3s but picked up his third foul during Miami’s early second half run. He was assessed a technical and subsequent fourth foul for throwing his headband as he disagreed with the call and sat the next 13 minutes.
“Obviously, we’d like to have Damari in there but that’s part of it,” Forbes said. “I thought he was just tossing his headband. I don’t really understand what the technical is about.”
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons have been on contrasting streaks since Jan. 7, when they began a five-victory string. Then they lost four straight before a three-win streak was snapped Saturday.
Miami: Omier shook off a five-point outing at North Carolina on Monday, scoring the first seven points of the game. Omier’s first field goal was a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Wake Forest: Visits No. 23 North Carolina State on Wednesday.
Miami: Visits Virginia Tech on Tuesday.
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