Last season Miami got the hat trick against UNC, winning a tough one in Chapel Hill, destroying the Heels in front of LBJ and DWade in Coral Gables, and capping a magical ACC Tournament run with a Championship Game win against them.
Well no one will mistake this year's team with last, but tonight they continued to give UNC fits. Miami has now beat the legendary program from Carolina 4 consecutive times, following an impressive 63-57 win at the Smith Center.
North Carolina started the game on a 8-0 run before Donnavan Kirk nailed a trifecta to get the Hurricanes on the board.
From there UM seemed to settle down, and started doing a much better job keeping Tar Heel players out of the paint. The new and improved Jekiri was very active on the glass and down low defensively, and Miami started to take control.
The Canes would hold UNC scoreless for nearly 5 minutes and take a 10-8 lead on a Rion Brown stick back.
UM's match up zone and prowess on the offensive glass was giving the Tar Heels fits. But Miami struggled to find shots of their own, and the game was nip and tuck through out the first 20 minutes.
This game was beginning to feel eerily similar to the Canes near miss against Syracuse last weekend. But would Miami finish this one off?
A run out dunk by Brown proceeded a beautiful alley hoop look from Adams to Brown to put the 'Canes up 4.
Manu LeComte would set up Brown for a three to extend the lead. Leslie McDonald would answer with a bomb of his own to cut the lead in half, but at the buzzer LeComte would find Adams for one more triple and UM headed to half with a 29-23 lead.
Brown was cut and James was called for a flagrant 2, ending his night.
While RB was in the locker room getting stitched up, his teammates tried to remain poised.
However back-to-back turnovers led to a bucket by Brice Johnson and a highlight reel dunk by JP Tokoto to cut the lead to 4.
Miami would respond with a beautiful run. Brown nailed a corner three off another good look by Lecomte, and Erik Swoope rocked the rim with back-to-back dunks to put the Hurricanes up double digits.
Swoope would help keep the 'Canes in control minutes later with a ridiculous chase down block of James Michael McAdoo.
However, the Heels still cut into the lead again, this time trimming it to 46-41, bolstered by a couple of 50/50 calls that went their way.
But the Canes kept coming. A great look by Adams to Jekiri for a dunk would stunt UNC's momentum. Moments later a great look to Swoope led to an and one, and the rest was history.
Swoope would finish with a career best 14 points to go with 8 rebounds. LeComte had 11 big points and 7 beautiful assists. Brown had 19 and 10. Adams had 9 points and 6 assists of his own, and Jekiri chipped in with 10 big boards.
UM has really settled nicely into the their roles. Kudos to Coach Larranaga and staff for the adjustments.
If they keep playing this way, perhaps this year's team might bring LBJ and DWade out of their seats yet!
Next up for the Hurricanes they get a visit from arch rival FSU, on Wednesday 1/15 at 9 PM.
PACK THE BUC!!
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Donnavan Kirk, F||3-5||1-3||0-0||1||2||3||0||0||1||0||5||7|
|James Kelly, F||0-1||0-1||1-2||0||1||1||0||1||1||0||2||1|
|Davon Reed, G||0-3||0-1||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||0||2||0||0|
|Garrius Adams, G||3-8||1-4||2-6||1||2||3||6||2||0||3||0||9|
|Rion Brown, G||7-14||2-6||3-6||1||9||10||0||0||1||1||4||19|
|Raphael Akpejiori, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Erik Swoope, F||5-8||0-1||4-4||1||3||4||1||2||1||2||2||14|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||1-4||0-0||0-0||3||7||10||1||2||3||3||4||2|
|Manu Lecomte, G||2-7||1-1||6-8||0||3||3||7||0||0||2||2||11|
|North Carolina Tar Heels|
|James Michael McAdoo, F||5-12||0-0||2-6||9||3||12||1||2||0||1||2||12|
|Joel James, F||1-1||0-0||2-2||2||3||5||0||0||0||1||2||4|
|J.P. Tokoto, F||3-7||1-2||0-0||1||3||4||2||0||1||1||2||7|
|Nate Britt, G||1-4||0-0||1-2||0||1||1||1||1||0||3||2||3|
|Marcus Paige, G||2-15||2-11||2-2||0||1||1||8||0||0||2||2||8|
|Brice Johnson, F||3-8||0-0||2-2||5||1||6||1||1||1||1||3||8|
|Desmond Hubert, F||0-0||0-0||1-2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|Kennedy Meeks, F||2-3||0-0||1-2||0||4||4||0||0||1||1||1||5|
|Isaiah Hicks, F||0-3||0-1||1-2||1||1||2||0||1||0||0||0||1|
|Jackson Simmons, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Leslie McDonald, G||3-12||2-7||0-0||0||2||2||3||1||0||1||5||8|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: 1 NORTH CAROLINA ( James 1 ) - TEAMS: None