Brooks, McGusty combine for 48 points as UM beats Boston College 80-76 on Senior Night

Michelle Kaufman
·3 min read

It was not exactly the Senior Night they envisioned when they arrived on the University of Miami campus – an empty, cavernous Watsco Center with just a smattering of family members and cardboard cutout fans in attendance.

But the eight senior Hurricanes honored Friday night made the best of the situation, came out with a lot of energy, and eked out an 80-76 win over Boston College.

The Canes snapped a six-game losing streak and avoided the lowest seed heading into the ACC tournament, which starts on Tuesday in Greensboro, N.C.

After the game, the seniors posed for photos with their framed jerseys, relatives, and Coach Jim Larranaga.

Redshirt seniors Nysier Brooks and Kameron McGusty made sure their last home game was memorable. Brooks, a cooking afficionado, looked as comfortable around the rim as he does in the kitchen. He had a season-high 16 points by halftime and finished with a career-high 21 on 8-of-11 shooting. His performance was especially impressive considering he missed practice the previous two days with an Achilles injury.

“I’m really happy we got this win going into the ACC tournament because a lot of crazy things happen in March,” said Brooks, whose father and aunt were at the game. “This could be the momentum we need to get ourselves a March Madness bid.”

McGusty went 9-of-12 for a game-high 27 points, one shy of his career high. He also had seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.

“It’s a great feeling to get a win and send our seniors out the way we did,” McGusty said.

Sophomore Anthony Walker chipped in 17 and seven rebounds. Sophomore Isaiah Wong, UM’s leading scorer, picked up two quick fouls, sat the rest of the first half and finished with nine points.

“To score 80 points, come away with a victory, have seniors Kam McGusty and Nysier Brooks to play as well as they did, a very nice way for our seniors to get a win at home and end that losing streak, which was very disappointing,” said Larranaga. The Canes had lost 10 of their previous 11 games.

Miami (8-16, 4-15 ACC) led most of the game, but BC went on an 11-0 run to tie it 68-68 with just over three minutes to go. The Canes responded with a 7-0 run of their own and hung on for the win.

“We just said, `We can’t let this one go, there’s three minutes left, we’ve been here before. This is our last one at home,” McGusty said.

The last time they played, Boston College won by 22 and scorched UM with 18 three-pointers, the most the Canes have given up in an ACC game. The Eagles went 2-of-11 from beyond the arc in the first half Friday and made nine all night. Rich Kelly, who had seven of their threes in the first matchup, did not play due to a foot injury.

Another reason was UM senior Elijah Olaniyi’s defense on Boston College guard Jay Heath, who scored a career-high 27 points in their first game and had 10 this time.

Prior to the game, the eight senior players and a manager were honored -- Brooks, McGusty, Deng Gak, Chris Lykes, Rodney Miller Jr., Elijah Olaniyi, Sam Waardenburg, walk-on Willie Herenton and manager Eric Winn.