Matthew Cleveland helps Miami defeat Virginia Tech


Matthew Cleveland posted 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and Bensley Joseph scored all 14 of his points in the second half as host Miami rallied to beat Virginia Tech 82-74 in an Atlantic Coast Conference game on Saturday afternoon.

Cleveland, who had missed the past 21/2 games due to a badly bruised hip, helped the Hurricanes rally from a 10-point second-half deficit.

Miami (15-7, 6-5 ACC), which swept its two-game series against the Hokies, had a 9-0 run in the final two minutes.

Virginia Tech (13-9, 5-6) forced nine turnovers in the first half but just two after intermission.

The Hokies got a game-high 21 points from Sean Padulla and 19 from Hunter Cattoor. Lynn Kidd had 11 rebounds.

Miami’s leading scorer Norchad Omier fouled out with 1:15 left and finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Hurricanes also got 16 points and a game-high four steals from freshman Kyshawn George and 14 points from Nijel Pack.

Miami, which missed its final 12 shots of the first half, trailed 35-26 at the break. Virginia Tech closed the first half on an 11-1 run.

Virginia Tech shot 48.3 percent in the first half as compared to just 34.6 percent for Miami. The Hokies also had an 18-4 advantage in paint points, Miami suffered four more turnovers than Virginia Tech.

The Hokies got a pleasant surprise in the first half as Tyler Nickel scored eight points on 3-for-5 shooting. He entered the game averaging 8.7 points per game.

However, he was held to two more points after the break.

Virginia Tech shot 48.3 percent overall, while Miami finished at 45.3.

In the second half, Miami cut its deficit to 52-47 with 12:49 left.

But Omier, limited in the first half after getting called for two fouls, was whistled for his fourth with 12 minutes left in the fourth, taking his seat on the bench.

However, Miami surged back to take a 60-59 lead on Joseph’s 3-pointer with 6:47 left.

Virginia Tech scored the next six points, and then Miami had its own 6-0 run, and that included a steal and a dunk by Omier and a steal and a layup by George — both within five seconds. That put Miami on top 66-65 with 3:42 remaining.

After Padulla missed two straight free throws — a rarity for an 85.0-percent career shooter — George swooped in for a 3-point play for a 71-67 lead with 1:55 to go. The Hurricanes held on from there.