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Williams with 16, Wake Forest tops short-handed Hurricanes 66-54



WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.  — Daivien Williamson scored 16 points, leading four players into double figures, as Wake Forest ended its January slate with a 66-54 defeat of a depleted Miami on Saturday.

Jalen Johnson added 15 points and Isaiah Mucius 13 with nine rebounds for the Demon Deacons (5-7, 2-7 Atlantic Coast Conference). Carter Whitt adding 11 on 4-for-4 shooting. Ody Oguama pulled down a career-best 12 rebounds, nine off the defensive glass.

Whitt, Williamson and Johnson each made three 3-pointers for Wake Forest, which kicked off Saturday’s game with a season-high nine treys in the first half.

Thirteen of the Deacons’ 23 field goals came from behind the arc.

Kameron McGusty and Isaiah Wong led the short-handed Hurricanes (6-10, 2-9) with 17 and 14 points, respectively. Anthony Walker scored 12.

Miami was down to seven players, each of whom saw at least 11 minutes of court time, and Wong departed in the closing minutes with an ankle injury.

Elijah Olaniyi and Earl Timberlake were out with shoulder injuries, Chris Lykes with an ankle injury. Rodney Miller Jr. and Sam Waardenburg are out for the season with knee and foot issues, respectively.

Coach Jim Larranaga said he didn’t yet know the severity of Wong’s injury, and still doesn’t know when Lykes — Miami’s leading scorer a year ago — might return after being sidelined for two months.

The Hurricanes are depleted by a departure as well. Freshman Matt Cross, who appeared in Miami’s first 14 games and started nine, left the program Thursday.

“I probably just was not the right coach for him,” Larranaga said. “I have my own way of doing things. You’ve got to buy into that approach. If you don’t, it probably makes you unhappy; you don’t feel like it’s an ideal fit. I just came to the conclusion the best thing would be for him to find someplace where he would be happier.”

Wake Forest lost seven of its first eight games in January, eking past Pitt 76-75 for its lone win before Saturday. Miami ends the month on a four-game slide.

Short roster or no, Miami jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game as Wake Forest whiffed on its first nine shots. The Deacons caught up midway through the first half when Johnson, Whitt and Mucius drained 3-pointers for a 20-13 lead Miami could never surmount.

McGusty got the Hurricanes as close as 23-21 but Wake Forest led by 10 at the break and had an answer to every Miami challenge in the second half.


Wake Forest is at Notre Dame, Miami returns to Coral Gables to host Duke.

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