Brooklyn, NY— Junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis dropped to the floor and put his hands on head after he took the bait on a shot fake and fouled University of Miami guard Chris Lykes.
Lykes, a junior, made both free throws with four seconds left to give Miami (7-3, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 78-77 win over Temple (7-3) Tuesday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“Coach [Jim Larrañaga] talks about shot fakes a lot,” Lykes said. “Especially in a moment like that. I know Nate pretty well. He’s a great defender. I had to get him off me a little bit, create some separation with the shot fake. I thought he was gonna jump. He’s a great defender and I was able to draw a foul.”
Down by one point with four seconds left, Temple coach Aaron McKie chose to inbound the ball from full court instead of calling a timeout and inbounding it from half court. Senior guard Quinton Rose received the inbounds pass and missed a three-point shot from just behind the arc as time expired.
Even though Temple had two timeouts left, McKie opted not to call one.
“I didn’t want to give those guys a chance to get their defense set,” McKie said. “We have a play that we run in practice in those types of situations. We didn’t get the quality shot that I would’ve liked. We did get a look. It didn’t go in. It was a tough ending for us.”
The Owls and Hurricanes played in a back-and-forth game that saw 15 lead changes and seven ties. With 34 seconds left, junior forward De’Vondre Perry made a corner three to put the Owls up 77-76. Perry played 22 minutes off the bench and led the Owls with 18 points. Perry made 6-of-8 shots from the field. Four of his made shots were from behind the arc.
“My journey has been working on staying consistent,” Perry said. “Just doing all of the little things well. Paying attention to the details, doing all of the dirty work. I felt I could do a lot better with the small things like rebounding. I think I’m doing pretty well at it.”
The Owls had a chance to extend the lead at the end of the game, but Pierre-Louis missed the front end of a one-and-one with 16 seconds left, which kept the game at 77-76. Pierre-Louis missed three free throws overall. The Owls as a team missed four free throws.
The Owls also failed to convert on some of their three point attempts down the stretch. The Owls only converted on 35 percent of their three point attempts in the second half, as opposed to 50 percent in the first half.
“We’ve been searching for a secondary defense,” Larrañaga said. “We tried the 2-3 zone in the last couple of games and it’s been effective. I thought that was the difference in the game because they missed some threes late and we were able to rebound.”
Four of Miami’s starters reached double digit points. Lykes led the Hurricanes with 17 points and six assists. Redshirt-junior guard Kameron McGusty earned a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Dejan Vasiljevic and redshirt-junior center Rodney Miller, Jr. each scored 11 points. Redshirt-senior forward Keith Stone added 13 points off the bench.
For Temple, Rose was second on the team with 14 points. Senior guard Alani Moore II scored all 12 of his points from the three and only missed four shots. Redshirt-junior guard Monty Scott added 10 points off the bench while shooting 4-of-9 from the field. Pierre-Louis added nine points and 14 rebounds.
“They’re gonna be very, very tough to beat in their conference,” Larrañaga said. “I think they’re gonna have a great year. They’re very long and athletic. If they can continue to play offense like they did these past two games, they’re gonna be very, very good.”
Temple will next play against Rider University (7-2, 1-0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) Saturday at the Liacouras Center at 1 p.m.