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Miami Basketball Ends Losing Streak, Tames Tigers 56-45

UM improves to 15-8, 5-5 on the season with a badly needed win.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With former Hurricanes' star Shane Larkin in the house, the 'Canes were hoping to put on a show.

After a slow first half, enigmatic Miami finally delivered and got a much needed conference win to halt their 3 game losing streak and also break a 4 game winning streak for Clemson, with a 56-45 win in Coral Gables.

JaQuan Newton got the first start of his career, as Miami Head Coach Jim Larranaga was likely was hoping to capitalize on his slashing nature.

But UM still struggled to find good shots early anyway.

When Jordan Roper got the Tigers going early with a deep three, and Davon Reed knocked down a triple of his own to answer in the opening moments, the first half produced some excitement.

But for the most part, the Hurricanes continued to struggle to find their offensive identity, and that was just fine for defensive minded Clemson.

Fortunately for UM, Ivan Cruz Uceda got hot and hit a trifecta of threes to give them an 18-15 lead halfway into the opening 20.

Donte Grantham answered right back with a few buckets though, to put Clemson back out in front.

And at the half it was just 25-24 Tigers.

UM hit 6 of 15 threes in the first stanza,  and Uceda led the way with 10 points.  Sheldon McClellan poured in 8 of his own.

The rest of the team was 2-17 combined.  Angel Rodriguez took a bagel in the opening stanza, continuing to look lost on his shot, going 0-4.

The Tigers got 7 a piece of Grantham and Roper.

In the second half, the 'Canes finally, finally, FINALLY got things going.

Rodriguez hit a nice little medium range pull up, and Tonye Jekiri got close a minute later to retake the lead at 31-28.

McClellan kept scoring as well, and when Angel hit what felt like his first three in ages, UM built an 8 point lead.

Moments later Jekiri took the ball strong to the hoop for the first double digit lead of the game.

UM was feeling it.

McClellan got loose again for a pair of dunks that  were by split a Rodriguez finger roll to really open things up.

Miami suddenly resembled the same team that went into Cameron and handled Duke, and was Nationally ranked just two weeks earlier.

However as is there inconsistent nature, they would give up a huge run to allow the lead to be sliced to 3 as the Tigers got out in transition time and time again.

But Manu Lecomte would  answer with consecutive threes though, to swell it back to 9.

From there, the Hurricanes were able to hold on despite the spirited efforts of Clemson.

Jekiri finished with 16 HUGE rebounds and 5 blocks.  McClellan led the way in scoring with 19.

Tonight was a night where you saw the best  and worst of UM all in one night.

Offensive slumps followed hot shooting.  Reed was tough on the perimeter and Jekiri was a rock down low defensively, but the team defense let a finished opponent get back in the game by not getting back.

If Miami is to make the NCAA Tournament they will have to be more consistent.

But for now they at minimum they stopped the bleeding and rediscovered their winning ways.

Next up they head to Winston Salem to take on Wake Forest, Wednesday at 7PM.