The Miami Hurricanes survived a very game Pittsburgh squad to come away with a huge 65-63 win from the Bank United Center this evening.
The Panthers James Robinson tied the game at 63 with under 30 seconds to go with a triple.
Moments later, Sheldon McClellan had a wide open look at a three Vs the zone that could have won it, but missed.
Davon Reed got way above the rim to keep it alive, but it was the smallest man on the court who got the clincher.
Angel Rodriguez snuck between the trees and tipped it in with under 2 seconds to go with his left hand to win it.
It was an ending Coach Jim Larranaga called "ironic."
And it was a clutch way to end a night that was not looking very good at the onset.
Pitt played very well in the first half, and held a 33-29 lead at the break that could have been significantly more.
"To say that I was concerned at halftime would be a major understatement. We didn’t defend them the way we really wanted to in the first half, ...." Larranaga observed.
But the 'Canes were able to cut the lead to just 4, thanks to an incredibly athletic last second three by McClellan where he took off outside the three point line and landed well inside the charity stripe.
One of many clutch plays by UM.
And in the second half the intensity was much better.
Whatever Coach L did at the half worked wonders.
" I thought our second-half defense was terrific. We were outrebounded 20-12 in the first half, but we came back and rebounded much better in the second half."
The offense was also better.
UM jumped out in front in the opening moments of the final 20, thanks to their D and some improved shooting.
McClellan got going, and Rodriguez had some nifty moves to the basket to help Miami get going.
Every time they got some breathing room though, Pitt answered back.
"I was proud of how our guys played" Pitt Coach Jamie Dixon noted.
Indeed, very little separated these two squads tonight.
But at the end, the 'Canes got just enough from their PG to steal the victory, and improve to 8-3 in ACC play. They are just a half game back now of conference leading UNC.
Rodriguez finished with a team best 17 points and 8 assists.
The Final Play:
|Sheldon Jeter, F||16||4-5||0-0||0-0||1||1||2||0||0||1||0||3||8|
|Jamel Artis, F||33||2-10||1-6||0-0||0||6||6||2||0||0||1||1||5|
|Michael Young, F||30||4-9||0-0||4-4||1||3||4||2||0||1||1||1||12|
|Sterling Smith, G||11||0-3||0-2||2-2||0||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|James Robinson, G||33||3-9||2-3||0-0||1||2||3||4||1||0||2||2||8|
|Alonzo Nelson-Ododa, F||2||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Rafael Maia, F||9||1-2||0-0||2-2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||4|
|Ryan Luther, F||26||5-6||0-0||2-2||2||5||7||0||1||1||2||2||12|
|Damon Wilson, G||17||2-6||0-1||0-0||1||0||1||1||1||0||1||0||4|
|Cameron Johnson, G||11||0-2||0-1||0-0||1||2||3||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Chris Jones, G||12||4-5||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||2||2||0||1||2||8|
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||25||5-7||0-0||0-2||4||6||10||0||1||0||0||4||10|
|Kamari Murphy, F||28||1-5||0-0||2-3||2||6||8||0||1||0||1||2||4|
|Davon Reed, G||36||4-10||2-6||2-2||1||3||4||3||1||0||1||1||12|
|Angel Rodriguez, G||35||6-12||2-6||3-4||1||1||2||8||1||1||1||0||17|
|Sheldon McClellan, G||35||3-7||2-5||2-2||0||1||1||0||0||1||1||1||10|
|Ebuka Izundu, C||8||1-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||2|
|Anthony Lawrence Jr., F||8||1-2||0-1||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||2||1||2|
|Ja'Quan Newton, G||18||1-5||0-1||1-2||0||1||1||1||0||0||3||1||3|
|James Palmer, G||7||1-2||0-1||3-3||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||5|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None
Officials: Tim Nestor, Roger Ayers, Les Jones