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Hurricanes suffer blowout loss to No. 8 Duke, further damaging their postseason hopes

CORAL GABLES — The Hurricanes entered Wednesday night’s showdown with Duke shorthanded, missing two starters for their matchup with the nation’s No. 8 team.

But there was no upset in store for Miami (15-12, 6-10 ACC), which was outgunned for the entirety of the game and fell 84-55 at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables. The defeat was the Hurricanes’ fifth straight loss, marking their first five-game losing streak since 2021.

“It seems like we’re climbing a mountain uphill and keep slipping back,” Miami coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We ran into a very good team tonight. Every mistake we made, we paid for.

The Hurricanes were missing guard Nijel Pack, who missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury, and guard Matt Cleveland, who was a late scratch as he dealt with an illness.

The Blue Devils (21-5, 12-3 ACC) scored the game’s first points and never trailed. Miami kept pace with Duke for the first 10 minutes of the first half, but the Blue Devils went on a 13-0 run that pushed them out to a 29-14 lead. By halftime, Duke led 40-23.

The second half did not get much better, as the Blue Devils continued building on their lead through the end of the game.

“Just keeping your foot on the gas, playing together, playing the right way,” Duke coach Jon Scheyer said. “They’re a team if you give them live-ball turnovers, they’re tough to stop in transition. We gave them, I think, only a couple.

Freshman Paul Djobet started in place of Cleveland, but he did not score. Wooga Poplar and Bensley Joseph led the Hurricanes with 15 points each, and Norchad Omier added nine points and 10 rebounds.

However, Miami had one of its worst shooting performances of the year, draining just 31 percent of their shots from the field. It was the Hurricanes’ second-worst shooting performance of the season.

“I think when we’re at full strength and able to prepare and practice correctly, we’re a much better team than we look like right now,” Larrañaga said. “But we’re not at full strength. We haven’t been at full strength almost the entire ACC race.”

The loss puts another dent in Miami’s lingering postseason hopes. The Hurricanes have four games remaining, including road trips to North Carolina and Florida State, before the ACC tournament begins.

“We just have to get better and more focused,” Joseph said.


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