CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Norchad Omier had 16 points and 16 rebounds and No. 17 Miami overcame a double-figure deficit to beat Syracuse 82-78.
Harlond Beverly also scored 16 points for the Hurricanes (15-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), Nijel Pack finished with 15 points and Jordan Miller had 13.
Down 11 early in the second half, Miami rallied for a 71-70 advantage on Beverly’s fast-break dunk with 3:48 remaining. The reserve guard then hit two free throws with 1:39 left that increased the Hurricanes’ lead to 78-73.
“We knew we had to come out in the second half and get stops,” Pack said. “The game is going to come down to whoever does that down the stretch.”
Joseph Girard III’s 3-pointer with 1:25 left cut it to 78-76.
The Orange (12-7, 5-3) had possession with 25 second remaining but Omier forced a turnover on freshman guard Judah Mintz with 10 seconds left. Omier was fouled and converted two free throws.
Beverly’s two free throws with three seconds left secured the win as Miami improved to 12-0 at home.
“It’s nice to stay undefeated at home,” Beverly said. “That always feels good to get a win here. You can’t keep losing.”
Beverly made all eight of his free throws and shot 4-for-7 from the field. His minutes proved valuable after Miami’s leading scorer Isaiah Wong was limited because of foul trouble.
“In the month of January, he’s been far more productive and the players on the team really enjoy it when he comes into the game,” Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said of Beverly. “He’s going to give us a great effort on both ends.”
The Hurricanes shot 25 of 28 free throws.
Pack also played a key role in Miami’s comeback with three 3-pointers in the second half, including a conversion from 35 feet that cut Syracuse’s lead to 64-63 with 5:56 left.
“This is something we worked on the last couple of games, knowing they were going to play zone, especially high up,” Pack said. “So I just practiced taking deeper shots. When I had the opportunity in the game, I was ready for it.”
Jesse Edwards scored a career high 25 points and had 11 rebounds while Girard finished with 21 for the Orange.
“Joe and Jesse really were good and did everything they could to try to win the game,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said.
The Orange scored nine unanswered points and took their first lead late in the first half. Girard’s three-point play with 4:40 remaining capped the surge and put Syracuse ahead 29-24.
Edwards’ layup with three seconds left gave the Orange a 38-34 lead at halftime.
Miami opened with an 11-2 spurt before Wong committed two fouls five seconds apart. Wong sat after his second foul 4:08 into the game and played five additional minutes the remainder of the half. He finished with nine points.
The Hurricanes were among the 11 Top 25 teams that lost Saturday. Five teams ranked behind the Hurricanes also lost, resulting in only a drop of one spot from the previous poll. Miami entered the rankings at 25 on Dec. 12, peaked at 12 before falling to its current spot.
Syracuse: Edwards had his ninth double-double of the season. Girard shook off a seven-point outing against Notre Dame on Saturday. Girard had scored in double figures in his previous 10 games.
Miami: The home game against Syracuse interrupted a road-tilted sequence for the Hurricanes. They began their road stretch Saturday at North Carolina State and also will play their next three games away from home.
“These three road games in a row are really going to test us to see how much toughness and how much we can fight through adversity,” Pack said.
Syracuse visits Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Miami visits Duke on Saturday.