Kansas City, MO -- Fifth seeded Miami advanced to the Elite Eight on Friday after defeating one seeded Houston 89-75 in the Sweet 16 matchup. The Hurricanes knocked down 11 three-pointers to cruise past the Cougars at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.
Miami shot 44 percent from three-point range.
Nijel Pack was the leading scorer for Miami. The guard scored 26 points and hit seven 3’s to lead the Hurricanes to victory on Friday night. In the first half, Pack scored four times from beyond the arc, including a key shot to give Miami a 34-31 lead with 4:36 remaining in the first half.
“He (Pack) was ridiculous,” Jim Larranaga said. “I just told him to keep shooting the ball and he had a sensational game.”
The most important part of Pack’s strong performance came in the second half. The sophomore hit three 3's in a timespan of a little over two minutes to help the Hurricanes pull away and give Miami a nine point lead.
“My teammates deserve the credit,” Pack said. “My teammates kept feeding me the ball and I just kept shooting. That really helped me grow my confidence.”
The Hurricanes hit five shots from beyond the arc in the second half. Jordan Miller and Wooga Poplar both knocked down a three-pointer to extend Miami’s lead. Miller hit a three-pointer to put Miami up double digits with 11 minutes left, and Poplar knocked down a 3 to give the Hurricanes a 17 point lead with around 10 minutes remaining.
Isaiah Wong and Miller both played key roles in Miami’s offensive success on Friday. Wong recorded 20 points, including a three-pointer in the first half, as well as three assists, and Miller added on 13 points for the Hurricanes.
“We just wanted to win really badly,” Miller said. “We did a very good job executing the game plan and it paid off.”
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