"We're in a situation now where every game is a big game," said coach Jim Larranaga, whose 15-9 club is harboring hopes of making the NCAA Tournament field.
The losses in the last two games, Larranaga noted, both came to ranked teams -- North Carolina at No. 8 and No. 20 Florida State.
Now the Hurricanes will face an unranked team with a losing record when Wake Forest, 12-14 overall and 3-9 in the conference, visits on Saturday (Feb. 19).
"Right now we've got to quickly regroup and refocus," Larranaga said.
The Hurricanes have plenty to correct. They hurt their chances against Carolina with their failure on the boards and with turnovers, especially in the second half.
The Tar Heels had 24 offensive rebounds out of their total of 46, leading to 23 second-chance points. Miami had 18 offensive rebounds out of its total of 40 that led to 16 second-chance points.
And the Hurricanes had 14 turnovers for the game, which isn't exorbitant, but "they happened all in row when the score was tied," Larranaga said. "Six out of seven times we gave them baskets so they didn't have to face our defense."
--Junior G Durand Scott had his best shooting night in four games by going 7-of-12 from the field in Miami's loss to North Carolina. He was 1-of-3 from three-point range for the second straight game and led the Hurricanes with 15 points.
--Junior G Trey McKinney-Jones gave Miami a lift off the bench with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting (3-of-5 on treys) against North Carolina. It was his first game in double figures since the win over Maryland on Feb. 1 when he scored 13 points and was 4-of-7 from the field.
BY THE NUMBERS: 75.0 -- Their 10-of-13 effort from the free-throw line against Florida State made the Hurricanes 120-of-160 in 10 conference games, a 75.0 percent mark.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "In a game like that, you have to be strong and tougher than the opponent. Lots of contact occurs, so if you're not strong and tougher than your opponent, they are going to win." -- Coach Jim Larranaga, on the physical nature of the loss at Florida State.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
--vs. Wake Forest, Feb. 18
KEY MATCHUPS: Wake has one of the ACC's top scorers in junior G C.J. Harris. F Travis McKie is in the top 10 in rebounding.
ON THE SPOT: Senior G Malcolm Grant continues to struggle from three-point range, and that is taking away a valuable weapon in Miami's arsenal. Grant took an emotional blow with the death of his brother just before Christmas and missed two outings, but seemed to gotten his game back when he was 4-of-6 from three-point range in the win over Georgia Tech on Jan. 24. But he is only 7-of-43 (16.3 percent) in six games since then after making just one of his attempts from behind the arc in the loss to North Carolina. "He's being asked to do a lot of things other than shoot the ball," coach Jim Larranaga said of Grant, who made 41.9 percent of his three-point attempts the last two seasons. "That becomes difficult to get back into that focus of shooting all the time. We're a more well-balanced team."
FUTURES MARKET: Despite the loss at Florida State, Miami was 3-3 in ACC road games and had a shot at establishing a program-best conference road mark since joining the league in the 2004-05 season. The Hurricanes have been 3-5 on the road in the ACC twice, in their first year in the ACC and again in 2005-06. They finished 7-9 in league play in both of those seasons. Their remaining road games are at Maryland on Feb. 21 and at North Carolina State on Feb. 29.
--Junior F Kenny Kadji, who hit his first three-pointer at home earlier in the week in the win over Virginia Tech, extended his streak of three-pointers in games away from home to nine by going 1-of-4 from behind the arc at Florida State. He led Miami with 14 points.
--Junior G Durand Scott scored 12 points against the Seminoles coming off a two-point performance against Virginia Tech in his previous game. He has scored in double figures in 18 of Miami's 23 games.