Miami was able to halt a 5 game ACC losing streak by defeating Florida State on the road last night, 77-73, in a game UM controlled from start to finish.
It was especially impressive considering that the Seminoles (14-10, 5-7) desperately needed this game to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes afloat.
So how were the Hurricanes able to control FSU and get their third conference road win of the season?
Let's look at some key factors:
- UM went to a bigger, more experienced line-up by inserting Raphael Akpejori and Erik Swoope into the starting line-up. The change seemed to bother the Noles early on when they struggled to find looks both inside and out. Akpejori in particular, provided a very physical presence in 21 big minutes.
- Garrius Adams has struggled all season with his shot, and last night he was only 3-11 from the floor. But he nailed both of his 3 point attempts, and both were timely. The first, just before the half, answered 2 bombs by Ian Miller that has sliced UM's lead in half. The second, during a key stretch in the second half, also halted a big FSU run.
- One could argue that if Donnavan Kirk played the Noles every game he would be an All-American. In 2 contests against FSU he averaged 18.5 ppg on an incredible 79% from the floor. He also knocked down 5-6 from beyond the arc and added 5 blocks in 2 games.
- What can you say about the performance on Tonye Jekiri last night? 'Canes fans would like to bottle up last night's version of TJ and unleash it on the ACC for years to come. Jekiri canned the medium range jumper and did his best work from in tight. The result 5-6 from the floor, 5-7 from the line, and a career high 15 points.
- Speaking of free throws, Miami knocked down 24-33. Still room for improvement, but a drastic upgrade over the previous 2 contests where UM basically gave the games against Pitt and NC State away at the line.
- Unofficially, the Canes were out-rebounded on the night by 4. But watching live game they sure seemed to hold their own. The also did a fantastic job on the 50/50 balls, something you won't find in any box score.
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