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Depleted Miami crushed by No. 11 FSU and its roster filled with South Florida talent

David Furones, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The even-more-depleted-than-usual Miami Hurricanes never stood a chance against rival Florida State.

With five players out and down to six scholarship players, Miami fell, 88-71, to the 11th-ranked Seminoles, who sit atop the ACC standings and are flush with South Florida talent, on Wednesday night at Watsco Center.

The Hurricanes (7-14, 3-13) dropped their fourth straight and suffered their eighth loss in the past nine games. FSU (14-3, 10-2), on the other hand, continued to strengthen its NCAA Tournament resume as it vies for optimum March Madness seeding.

The Seminoles did it with a slew of former South Florida high school standouts contributing.

Forward RaiQuan Gray, a Dillard grad, had 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Center Balsa Koprivica and guard/forward Scottie Barnes attended University School before graduating from Montverde Academy. Koprivicia had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Barnes went for eight points and eight assists. Guard Anthony Polite, a St. Andrews alum, pitched in 12 points.

Miami was led by sophomore guard Isaiah Wong, who poured in a game-high 29 points. Guard Kameron McGusty and forward Anthony Walker added 12 points each — Walker adding seven rebounds. Guard Elijah Olaniyi scored 11.

 

Florida State, which was led by 16 points from guard Sardaar Calhoun, shot 54% from the field on Wednesday while UM connected on 34% of its field-goal attempts.

The dominance was evident from the start as the Seminoles jumped out to a 27-8 advantage in the first 10 minutes. The Hurricanes never made a significant push to climb back into contention.

Miami was again without guards Harlond Beverly (back) and Chris Lykes (left ankle). Beverly is out indefinitely, and Lykes, who hasn’t played since the second game of the season on Dec. 4, has been said to be unlikely to return with three regular-season games left, according to coach Jim Larranaga. Guard/forward Earl Timberlake (left shoulder), forward Sam Waardenburg (left foot) and center Rodney Miller (right knee) are all out for the season.

Wong was able to go after missing the second half last time out for the Hurricanes against Georgia Tech, an 87-60 loss, with an ankle injury. UM played its six available scholarship players — Wong, Olaniyi, McGusty, Walker, center Nysier Brooks and forward/center Deng Gak — and walk-on guard Willie Herenton as a seventh player in the rotation on Wednesday. Fellow walk-on Filipos Gkogkos also got into the game in the final minutes.

Miami next plays at Clemson in a 2 p.m. tip on Saturday.

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