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Late free throws lift Miami over Temple

Lykes leads Hurricanes with 17 points, including 2 free throws in final 4 seconds

Miami's Chris Lykes shoots over Temple's Alani Moore II during the first half at Barclays Center, Dec. 17, 2019, in New York.
Miami's Chris Lykes shoots over Temple's Alani Moore II during the first half at Barclays Center, Dec. 17, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Michael Owens)

NEW YORK – This was not survive and advance.

This was just survive.

When it was over, Miami coach Jim Larranaga could appreciate what he and his team went through.

“Just a heck of a college basketball game,” Larranaga said after Chris Lykes made two free throws in the final four seconds to lead Miami to a 78-77 win over Temple on Tuesday night in the third game of the inaugural Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational.

Lykes led Miami (7-3) with 17 points. Keith Stone scored 13 points, Kameron McGusty added 12 and 10 rebounds, and Dejan Vasiljevic and Rodney Miller Jr. each had 11 points.

Vasiljevic entered the game needing four points to break the 1,000-point barrier at Miami.

“DJ has been with us for four years. I can tell you from the day he arrived he’s one of smartest, hardest working, best shooters, great leader, great competition I’ve been around,” Larranaga said of Vasiljevic. “He is the consummate teammate.”

Whereas Miami could revel in a hard-fought win, Temple coach Aaron McKie was left to wonder what could have been.

“It was a game that was right there,” said the Owls' first year coach. “I think we’re taking the right steps. This is one that’s going to sting, it’s going to sting for awhile.”

Quinton Rose led Temple (7-3) with 14 points. Alani Moore II contributed 12, and Monty Scott had 10.

The game was tight from the opening tip, as neither squad was able to create any separation. Miami’s biggest lead was nine, while Temple largest advantage was six.

Trailing 71-66, Temple cut the deficit to two on a Moore 3-pointer. On the ensuing possession, a McGusty layup allowed Miami to extend the lead to four. Only to have Temple rip the advantage away due to two made free throws by Rose, and 3-pointer by J.P. Moorman II. Miami regained the lead following back-to-back Miller layups, but a De'Vondre Perry 3 gave Temple 77-76 lead to set the stage for Lykes.

Following Lykes’ two made free throws, Temple had one last chance but Rose missed a desperation 3.

“We subbed,” Larranaga said. “(We) took Rodney Miller out and put Harlond Beverly, a freshman, in believing Chris would make the free throws, we’d be up one, and we’d have to get matched up with Quinton Rose. Harlond did that and did a great job of keeping him from his right hand. That allowed us to force a deep 3 (and) he missed it. Great job by both Chris making the free throws but also his teammate’s stop.”