The Hurricanes came away with a thrilling win Tuesday Night thanks to Ja’Quan Newton’s game winner. Chris Lykes led the Hurricanes with 18 points on 6/12 shooting (4/8 from three). He was one of six Hurricanes that scored in double figures in the high scoring affair.
The game was a shootout immediately. It was North Carolina who came out aggressive on their senior night thanks to an excited crowd. Luke Mayes (Junior Forward) got out to a fast start when he scored his first points on an alley oop. A couple of plays later, a long two from Theo Pinson (Senior Forward) gave North Carolina an early eight point lead. However, Miami was able to keep the game closely contested.
The Hurricanes were able to stay in the game thanks to Ebuka Izundu. He scored timely buckets that helped Miami answer North Carolina’s momentum with a 10-0 run. Near the end of the half, Lykes nailed a deep three to give Miami an eight point halftime lead in Chapel Hill.
The Hurricanes started off the second half with all the momentum. A couple minutes into the half, Dewan Huell capped off a fastbreak with a dunk to give the Canes a fourteen point lead. Lonnie Walker then scored on a driving layup. On the following possession, Lykes stole the Tar Heels' inbound pass and made a three to give Miami a 16 point lead.
But, North Carolina clawed back with an 8-0 run to cut Miami’s lead to eight points. With a seven point lead, Lykes nearly fell down, but managed to maintain his dribble. Once he regained his balance, he hit another deep three to extend their lead to ten. With North Carolina running out of time, they began to mount a comeback, thanks in large part to Joel Berry (Senior Guard). Berry hit a three with just under four minutes left to make it a four point game. Then, he hit another with 2:30 left to make it a two point game.
With Miami up by three, Berry dribbled up the court and made a game-tying three. Then, Newton took the inbounds pass with about 4 seconds left. He quickly dribbled to the right side of the top of the key for a deep three. The shot went through the hoop with no time left.
Newton’s game winner allowed the Canes to spoil the Tar Heels' Senior Night. It also helped Miami potentially solidify a spot in the NCAA tournament.