The 'Canes and NC State squared off this afternoon, with UM looking to keep their postseason hopes alive and the Pack still hoping to make an impression on the Tournament Committee.
After scoring just 40 points in Charlottesville against Virginia on Wednesday, the Hurricanes found their touch today to the tune of 85 points and seriously dampened the Pack's NCAA Tournament chances with a solid victory on the road.
In an up and down first half that saw 4 lead changes and several ties, both teams shot the ball very well.
Tyler Lewis got NC State going with a bucket and a nice dish to Ralston Turner for three, but the Canes responded right back with an 8-0 capped by a pair of runners by Rion Brown to take an early 13-9 lead.
The Hurricanes strong early offensive play continued with a conventional three point play by Garrius Adams, a strong take to the hole by Erik Swoope, and a layup by Tonye Jekiri off a nice feed from Swoope.
UM could not sustain the lead though, as the Wolfpack also enjoyed scoring success of their own behind Turner and T.J. Warren.
NC State hit 4 of their first 6 from deep, and Kyle Washington converted an and one to temporarily seize momentum, but Davon Reed hit a money ball of his own just before intermission to put the Hurricanes up 37-36 after 20 minutes.
In the second half, it looked as though Miami might run away with the game early on but Warren kept it close.
At the 17 minute mark, with Miami's defense picking up, and Swoope finding pay dirt on a pick and roll to put the 'Canes up 6.
Moments later Manu Lecomte would nail back-to-back triples to extend the lead, and the Hurricanes shooting was sizzling.
UM was also doing an outstanding job hitting the offensive glass, and a second chance opportunity that led to a thunderous Swoope dunk put them up 53-44.
The Pack kept fighting back though with Washington causing havoc on the inside and Warren wreaking havoc in the open court.
Warren would score twice in a 15 second span, and despite playing so very well at times, the 'Canes only had a precarious 3 point advantage.
NC State's full court press was also causing Miami problems,
And two steals and two dunks by Warren would actually put the Pack ahead 65-64 with 10 minutes to go.
The 'Canes stayed poised though.
Jekiri calmly knocked down a pair of FTs to retake the lead though, and Swoope scored on a monster put back slam and UM regained control with a huge 9-0 run.
Jekiri played one of his better games of the season with 14 big points and 13 rebounds. and was a solid inside presence all day.
Rion Brown would nail a huge turnaround jumper at the 3 minute mark to put Miami up 75-65 and that pretty much iced it.
Miami arguably played their best game of the season and closed it out with a 21-5 run. A stark contrast to earlier in the season when they wilted so often in close games.
With the exception of the Virginia game, where they were flat out swarmed by arguably the ACC's best team, Miami has really played their best ball coming down the stretch.
Jekiri's development, Brown fantastic senior season, and the emergence of Swoope have made the 'Canes a draw very few ACC teams will look forward to in Greenseboro.
Next Up: Miami heads to Death Valley to take on the Clemson Tigers, Tuesday 3/4 at 8PM.
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||5-7||0-0||4-5||6||7||13||0||2||1||1||5||14|
|Raphael Akpejiori, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||0|
|Erik Swoope, F||6-8||0-0||3-3||2||4||6||1||0||1||1||3||15|
|Rion Brown, G||7-13||1-4||5-8||1||4||5||2||1||0||1||2||20|
|Garrius Adams, G||3-9||0-2||10-12||0||3||3||4||2||0||3||3||16|
|Donnavan Kirk, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|Davon Reed, G||2-3||1-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||5|
|Manu Lecomte, G||4-6||3-3||4-4||0||2||2||3||0||0||3||2||15|
|North Carolina State Wolfpack|
|Jordan Vandenberg, C||0-1||0-0||0-2||1||0||1||3||1||0||0||4||0|
|T.J. Warren, F||8-18||0-3||4-6||5||2||7||1||3||0||3||5||20|
|Kyle Washington, F||3-7||0-0||7-9||2||3||5||1||0||0||0||1||13|
|Tyler Lewis, G||3-4||1-1||0-0||0||0||0||2||0||0||1||3||7|
|Ralston Turner, G||2-7||2-6||3-3||0||2||2||0||0||1||2||3||9|
|Lennard Freeman, F||2-4||0-0||1-2||1||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||5|
|Beejay Anya, F||1-2||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||2|
|Anthony Barber, G||2-2||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||2||0||0||2||2||4|
|Desmond Lee, G||3-7||3-6||1-2||1||1||2||2||1||0||0||2||10|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None
Here's a highlight of Erik Swoope taking it strong, & game highlights as well: