The Miami Hurricanes just keep winning. Undefeated in the ACC an facing a wounded NC State team that played a fantastic game for the most part, UM survived with a late rally in Raleigh 79-78.
Lorenzo Brown was a game time decision and could not go. In addition, Mark Gottfried shocked everyone by starting the game with CJ Leslie on the bench.
In the early going both teams made some nice plays, the highlight of which was a Julian Gamble coast to coast layup. Richard Howell answered with an and one, but UM led 11-8. A sweet touch pass from Tonye Jekiri to Reggie Johnson jump started a mini 6-0 run as the lead increased to 9. NC State, however responded with some nice inside work and after a run of their own took a 25-22 lead on back to back buckets by Leslie. Miami settled for far too many long jumpers during the State run. The 'Canes were just 1-12 on threes to start the game, and fell behind by as many as 6, playing a helter skelter pace. Rodney Purvis electrified the crowd with an incredible tip dunk, but was answered when Gamble finished a three on one with a two handed jam of his own.
A few more run outs resulting from forced jumpers aided NC State, as they went into the half with a 40-34 lead. Larkin and Scott had 8 a piece for UM. Howell paced the Pack with 11 and Leslie had 10.
Early in the second half, Miami quickly cut into the lead with Kadji and Gamble doing some good work down low. But Brown's replacement, Tyler Lewis proved surprisingly tough to contain. The lead built all the way up to 9 early on as UM continued to jack up and miss threes, and NC State continued to attack in transition. But the 'Canes did not quit. Reggie Johnson made some nice moves down low as the Hurricanes hung around. Gamble then made another end to end move and finish to cut the lead to 1. UM took the lead on a steal and finish by Durand Scott that sparked a 15-2 spurt. Miami's defense and inside play was starting to take over. But just when things looked to be in UM's favor Rodney Purvis hit two huge buckets and. CJ Leslie's power dunk shifted momentum and tied it up. Two free throws by Leslie and a three by Wood gave State a working 5 point margin with 2 minutes to go. But Scott scored on a drive, and Larkin stole the in bounds leading to another Scott lay in as UM battled back.
The game came down to the final minute with the Pack up one. Lewis missed a step back jumper that Miami rebounded. They quickly called time out.
On the game's deciding play, Shane Larkin drove left and missed a leaner that Reggie Johnson tipped in for the lead!!! Purvis launched one from three quarters that caught rim, but did not go through.
Miami did it again. On a day when they couldn't buy one from deep, and faced a short-handed squad that played their hearts out, they found a way to win YET AGAIN. 8-0 in the ACC. 5-0 in conference on the road. Who would have thunk it?!?!
Player of the Game: Reggie Johnson and Julian Gamble. Johnson (15 points 8 rebounds and the game winner) played his best game since returning from injury. Gamble (16 points) was a monster all day down low and in the open court.
The Good: The heart, the composure, the will to win. This is the kind of game you see in March.
The Bad: The outside shooting (3-20 on threes) nearly cost UM the game.
The Ugly: The usually reliable transition defense was not up to par today.
Next Game: The 'Canes return home, Tuesday 2/5, to host the BC Eagles at 7PM EST.
|Trey McKinney Jones||2-11||0-6||0-0||0||1||0||0||4|
- Technical Fouls:
- PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC