CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 12, 2020) – It was a tale of two styles at the Watsco Center Saturday afternoon as University of Miami Men’s Basketball took on, the artists formally known as Dunk City, Florida Gulf Coast University. The first half saw the Canes took full advantage of its size advantage scoring 20 points in the paint, while the Eagles let it fly from three with 21 points from beyond the arch. Florida Gulf Coast would lead the second half wire-to-wire, eventually defeating the Canes 66-62.
“It was more about the inefficiency of our offense and not the quality of our defense,” said Head Coach Jim Larrañaga. “Right now we have no one making three’s and were 1-17 with a minute to go.”
Both teams came out in 2-3 defenses with Florida Gulf Coast using the drive and kick to find baskets and Miami’s Nysier Brooks imposing 7-foot presences creating shots for himself and the rest of the team.
The first five minutes saw FCGU let it fly from three while Miami looked to capitalize on its size advantage, but it would be the Eagles with the early 10-8 advantage.
— FOX Sports South (@FOXSportsSouth) December 12, 2020
Miami fought back with two unanswered buckets in the paint, capitalized by an Isaiah Wong fast-break dunk ahead of the first media timeout, putting The U up 13-10.
Gulf Coast’s spacing created multiple second-chance opportunities and allowed them to keep things close even with their three’s not falling.
The two teams would trade 6-0 runs late in the first half and go into halftime tied at 28-28.
Brooks nearly posted a double-double in the first 20 minutes with nine points and six rebounds while Wong was a nuisance for the Eagles picking up three steals in the first half to go along with six points and an assist.
Both teams came out the gate fast in the second half both going 3-7 but a three-pointer being the difference and giving FGCU a 35-34 lead at the 15-minute mark.
After the quick start, Miami would go cold shooting just 30% at the midway point of the second half but active hands and strong rim protection limited the damage to a 39-36 deficit.
🙌 17.0 PPG
🙌 6.3 RPG
🙌 46.4 FG%
Zay Wong has shined to start the '20-21 campaign. pic.twitter.com/iq0AVF6Ti1
— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) December 14, 2020
Miami and FGCU were matching continued to match each other shot for shot in the second half but again the Eagles proficiency from distance kept them in the lead 50-48 at the five-minute mark.
The Canes Anthony Walker stepped up late in the game, getting to the rim at will, as Miami found themselves down 59-56 heading into the final minute of the game.
Wong would hit two clutch threes with the shot clock off, but it would not be enough as Florida Gulf Coast would win the game 66-62.
Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove – USA TODAY Sports