Lykes’ free throw lifts Miami past Virginia Tech 69-68

Duke University v Virginia Tech_710123

BLACKSBURG, VA – FEBRUARY 26: Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Buzz Williams tries to excite fans in the second half during the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Cassell Coliseum on February 26, 2018 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Lauren Rakes/Getty Images)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Chris Lykes sank the front end of a one-and-one with three seconds left, and the Miami Hurricanes won their second thriller this week, beating Virginia Tech 69-68 Saturday.

Miami overcame a 12-point first-half deficit and regrouped after going more than seven minutes without a basket down the stretch to squander a nine-point lead.

It was the Hurricanes’ biggest heart-stopper since Tuesday, when they won at No. 9 North Carolina on Ja’Quan Newton’s desperation buzzer-beater.

The Hurricanes (22-8, 11-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) take a four-game winning streak into the league tournament next week. The Hokies (21-10, 10-8) finished with the same league record for the third consecutive year.

Tech trailed 64-55 with eight minutes to go, but clamped down defensively and rallied to lead 68-66. Lonnie Walker IV ended Miami’s drought by sinking a game-tying basket with 55 seconds left.

After Tech missed two shots, Lykes drove, drew a foul from Mike Robinson and made one of two free throws. A shot by Tech’s Chris Clarke from midcourt missed badly at the buzzer.

Dejan Vasiljevic led Miami with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Lykes had 15 points and seven assists, and Walker added 12 points.

Robinson led Tech with 18 points and six assists.

The Hurricanes struggled early against the zone, as they have for much of the season. But they hit three consecutive 3-pointers to start the second half, and scored 12 points in a row for a 47-42 lead.

Back to back 3-pointers by Vasiljevic made it 64-55, but the Hurricanes didn’t sink another basket until the final minute.

Miami shot 59 percent in the second half and 48 percent for the game.


Miami improved to 7-3 without star guard Bruce Brown Jr., who will be sidelined for at least another week with a foot injury.

Tech fell to 2-8 at Miami under coach Buzz Williams.


Miami fell behind 10-2 and trailed the rest of the first half. The Hurricanes closed to within 17-16, but Tech rebuilt its lead to 37-25. It was 39-32 at halftime.


For the Hurricanes’ home finale, seniors Chris Stowell and Mike Robinson made their first career starts and departed with Miami leading 1-0.


Both teams play in the ACC Tournament next week in New York.

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