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Role of favorites doesn't suit No. 15 Miami Hurricanes, who lose to Green Bay 68-55

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CORAL GABLES, Florida — The Miami Hurricanes moved into the rankings with a surprisingly strong start this season, which made them heavy favorites Saturday at home against Green Bay.

The role didn't suit them.

Miami shot a season-low 33 percent, looked lost on defense and was beaten for the first time this season, 68-55.

"We didn't come out with a chip on our shoulder like we did coming into the season," said Sheldon McClellan, who had 16 points for the Hurricanes. "We're not the underdog anymore. Everybody wants to beat us. Everybody is going to bring their A game. We didn't bring our A game, and we lost."

Miami, which has never been ranked so high so early in a season, fell to 8-1. Green Bay bounced back from a loss Thursday at Georgia State and improved to 6-2.

Fourth-year coach Brian Wardle said the upset was a milestone for the Phoenix, coming on the road against a ranked team.

"It was a great program win for us, something we haven't been able to do since I've been at Green Bay," Wardle said. "Miami is going to win a lot of games. This is going to be a good win for us."

Phoenix junior Carrington Love had a career-high 20 points, nine rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks. Keifer Sykes added 18 points and Greg Mays had 10.

The Hurricanes, who had been averaging nine 3-pointers a game, was 5 of 20 from long range. Miami was flummoxed by a zone deployed by Green Bay and scored only one basket in the first 12 minutes of the second half.

"We had a lot of nice open 3s and didn't make them," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "We got discouraged and weren't as emotionally charged."

Green Bay began shooting successfully over Miami's zone early in the second half. Love sank a 3-pointer during a 13-1 run that put the Phoenix ahead 44-31 with 11 minutes left.

PHOTO: Miami head coach Jim Larranaga, center, talks with officials in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Green Bay, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Coral Gables, Fla. Green Bay defeated Miami 68-55. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami head coach Jim Larranaga, center, talks with officials in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Green Bay, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Coral Gables, Fla. Green Bay defeated Miami 68-55. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The Phoenix built their biggest lead at 48-32 with eight minutes left before Deandre Burnett started a Miami comeback, scoring 10 points during an 11-0 run that made it 48-43. But the Hurricanes could get no closer.

"We just got outplayed, outhustled, outrebounded," McClellan said. "They had 10 dunks. They were tougher. We didn't do a very good job of guarding. That's why we went to the zone. We've got to come out with a better intensity at the start of the game."

The Phoenix drove repeatedly for baskets in the early going, taking a 22-11 lead before the Hurricanes abandoned their man-to-man defense.

"That's the first time this season I've had to go to the zone because of that," Larranaga said. "Hopefully that's not a sign of things to come."

Burnett had a season-high 21 points for Miami. Angel Rodriguez added 12 points but shot 2 for 15 and had three turnovers.

"We got complacent," Burnett said. "They just played harder."

TIP-INS

Green Bay: The Phoenix improved to 4-0 in Florida this season. They won the Gulf Coast Showcase last month.

Miami: Sophomore Davon Reed, who missed the first eight games because of a knee injury, decided to get taped up at halftime and played eight minutes. "He could see we didn't have the energy we needed," Larranaga said. "He came in and had a lot of energy and did a great job defensively. That's a big boost for us."

UP NEXT

Green Bay hosts Drake next Saturday.

Miami hosts Savannah State on Monday.

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