Shane Larkin noticed during warm-ups that something was off with No. 2 Miami. The go-go, uptempo Miami Hurricanes looked a step slow, and not totally ready to play.
They certainly paid for it.
Miami’s unbeaten begin to Atlantic Coast Conference play is history. So is its 14-game winning run and its highest-ever countrywide ranking, after the Hurricanes were knocked off by Wake Forest 80-65.
”You could just see it tonight. I had a bad feeling coming into warm-ups with everyone going slow,” Larkin announced. ”I was attempting to get folk to go fast, and I was not even going full speed like I should have.
”Overall, we weren’t prepared before the game and they came out and punched us in the mouth.”
Durand Scott had all 17 of his points in the 2nd half for the Hurricanes (22-4, 13-1), the last of the faculties in the 6 BCS meetings to get its first league loss.
Larkin added 13 points, Trey McKinney Jones had 11 and Kenny Kadji finished with 10.
But Miami never got closer than 11 in the last 9 minutes and was outrebounded 36-35 by the more youthful, smaller Wake Forest as the best start to ACC play since Duke’s 16-0 mark in 1998-99 came to a surprisingly lopsided end.
The Hurricanes – whose prior 3 wins came by a combined 12 points – looked like they had another tight finish in them when Scott capped an 18-8 run with a jumper with 14 0.5 minutes left to make it 46-41.
He added a layup 2 minutes later to drag Miami to 50-45, and it looked like the Hurricanes were going to get a way to keep their charmed run rolling.
But 2 possessions later, C.J. Harris turned a turnover into a fast-break dunk that started a 12-0 run that put the Wake Forest on the inside track to their largest victory since they knocked off then-No. One Duke 4 years ago when they were in the top 5 themselves.
Harris finished with 23 points and hit all 5 of his 3-pointers while freshman Codi Miler-McIntyre added 15 points for the Demon Deacons (12-14, 5-9).
They shot 54 percent, led by double digits for the whole second half and reeled off 12 straight points towards pull away for their biggest victory under 3rd-year coach Jeff Bzdelik. Baseball scores
As the last seconds ticked away, Harris and Travis McKie – two of the team’s 3 available non-freshmen on scholarship – exchanged a flying chest-bump before the Wake Forest scholars rushed the court for the 2nd time in little over a month.
An 86-84 upset of then-No. 18 North Carolina State on Jan. 22 was its biggest victory under Bzdelik.
McKie finished with 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots and Devin Thomas scored 10 points for the Demon Deacons, who – after 2 years of being one of the ACC’s worst teams – have transformed themselves into a tough out at home in the conference.
They improved to 5-2 against ACC enemies at Joel Coliseum. The losses – to Duke Blue Devils and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets – are by a mixed 6 points.