Miami holds on for 75-71 win at Virginia Tech

Matthew Cleveland scored 21 points and Nijel Pack added 19 as Miami handed Virginia Tech its first home loss this season, 75-71, Saturday night in Blacksburg, Va.

Norchad Omier contributed 14 points and five rebounds as Miami (12-4, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a two-game skid. Wooga Poplar added 11 points and Pack finished with eight rebounds and five assists.

After trailing by as many as nine points in the first half, the Hurricanes shot 65.2 percent from the floor and made 6 of 10 attempts from 3-point range after the break.

Sean Pedulla notched his career high in scoring as he tallied 33 points for Virginia Tech (10-6, 2-3), which fell to 8-1 at home. Pedulla also had his career high in rebounds with 10, leading the Hokies to a 34-24 edge on the boards. Lynn Kidd made all eight of his shots, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the second half for the Hokies.

The Hokies were without defensive standout Hunter Cattoor, who was inadvertently kicked in the head by an opposing player Wednesday night in a win over No. 21 Clemson.

Miami went on a 20-4 run that bridged the half and transformed a nine-point deficit into a seven-point lead. Virginia Tech responded with six straight points, and it remained tight the rest of the way.

With 1:14 left, Pack hit a driving runner from just inside the free-throw line to give Miami a 71-68 lead.

After MJ Collins missed a jumper, Poplar fed Omier for a layup that put the Hurricanes up 73-68 with 44 seconds left.

Pedulla hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left and Virginia Tech had a chance to tie in the closing seconds, but Collins’ 3-point try grazed the rim short. Pack answered with a free throw with 4 seconds left to sew it up.

In the first half, Pedulla made a driving layup and then made another on a fastbreak to give the Hokies a 30-21 lead, which matched their largest of the half.

Miami scored eight straight points, including a 3-pointer by Poplar and a reverse layup three-point-play by Pack that cut the deficit to 30-29 at the break.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Pack and Kyshawn George helped the Hurricanes to their biggest lead of the game, 41-34, four minutes into the second half.

George hit another key 3-pointer with 2:20 left that put Miami up for good, 69-66.