canes player of the week

Two years after the Covid viruses first hit our shores the Miami Men’s Basketball team suffered their first Covid protocol roster shortages when both starting Center Sam Waardenburg and backup guard Wooga Poplar were ruled out prior to the Canes- NC State game on Dec. 29.

The 21-22 Hurricanes lack size and bulk. Losing players like Sam and Wooga could have been a death knell but if this seasons group is anything, it’s a team in every sense of the word. With a ‘next man up’ mentality Miami stood toe to toe with the Wolfpack.

The Canes started off hot making their first five field goals and were up 25-17 with 9:58 left in the half before the Pack scored six straight to get within two. The rest of the half went back and forth with NC State up one, 41-40 at the break.

NC St opened the second half with an 8-2 run then extended the lead to eight before Miami answered with an 8-1 burst closing within one with 9:31 on the clock.

The Wolfpack xtended the lead to five before the Canes ran off eight straight including back-to-back three pointers by Isaiah Wong to take their first lead of the second half, 76-73 with 4:39 remaining.

NC State made two free throws before UM scored ten straight in 2:15 to go up 11, 86-75 with 1:45 left.

The Wolfpack never got closer than eight the rest of the game and Miami had the win at 91-83.

Jordan Miller had his best game at Miami leading the way with 25.

Kam McGusty had 20 along with a team high 11 rebounds and 5 assists.

Wong added 19 with 14 in the second half.

Anthony Walker had 11 all in the final frame. Freshman backup point guard Bensley Joseph had 7 points and his inspirational, tenacious and contagious defense was a big part in the win.

Next up was the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (11-2,1-1) on New Year’s Day.

Big Sam was again out for this ACC test.

Undaunted Miami again showed what teamwork, grit, confidence and determination can do.

The Canes now (11-3,3-0) never trailed against the Deacons and won 92-84 for their third consecutive ACC and seventh straight overall win.

Charlie Moore opened the scoring with two early three pointers and added another halfway through the half for a 21-8 lead.

Not long after Jordan Miller hit two threes in a row making it 27-12 on the way to a 43-38 first half lead.

Stellar shooting and defense were the keys to this win. Miami was 32-52 (61.5%) from the floor and 9-18 (50%) from long range.

Miami had 9 steals and turned Wake over 13 times in this team win.

Wong led with 25, Moore had 18, Miller 17 and McGusty 15 and a team leading 8 boards.

This weeks SDNL will go to press before the results of the Wednesday Jan. 5 matchup against Syracuse. After that it’s at Duke on 1/8 and at FSU Jan 11, before a return home to play North Carolina on Jan 18.

The LadyCanes return to play at home on Jan. 6 against Wake Forest after three Covid protocol postponements.

Number 1 Louisville visits on Jan. 9. There is no better entertainment dollar value than tickets for both the Men’s and Women’s UM Basketball teams. These squads both need and deserve your support. Call 800-GOCANES , 800-462-2637 for ticket information.

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