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Miami Basketball Shows Grit, Defeats VT in ACC Tourney 88-82

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Miami's two senior guards came up huge down the stretch as the 'Canes held on against a very tough Hokies team that embarrassed them last weekend, in a 88-82 win from Washington D.C. to advance to the ACC Semifinals.

Sheldon McClellan made a number of huge baskets and finished with 21 huge points, and Angel Rodriguez who had 19 and 9 assists  made several big plays of his own in a key second half stretch to propel the Hurricanes.

This one was interesting from the onset.

Davon Reed scored UM's first 5 points of the game,  but VT's Jalen Hudson had 6 quick ones of his own to give the Hokies an early lead.

A 10-0 Miami run ensued to give the 'Canes the lead, featuring two more big buckets for the red hot Reed.

But Seth Allen stemmed the tide with an and one, as the two teams went tit for tat.

Allen and Hudson would score another bucket a piece to keep it close.

However VT was sloppy with the ball and the 'Canes capitalized with buckets by James Palmer and Ja'Quan Newton to extend to a 29-20 lead.

McClellan added to the advantage and it was double digits after a tough baseline drive.

In the opening half, both teams repeatedly went to the hoop with reckless abandon.

But it was Tech who got to the line, converting 9-11 to just 1-2 for UM from the charity stripe, as the Hurricanes held a tenuous 33-32 lead at the half following a 7-0 VT run to close it out.

UM would respond, thanks to Rodriguez.

At the start of the second half, Miami's senior PG took over.

Rodriguez nailed 3 triples and had a steal and conversion all before the first TV TO to put the Hurricanes up 11.

The 'Canes also slowed down the VT drives, by giving them a dose of their own medicine, and going zone on D.

Moments later Angel would find Kamari Murphy underneath on a lob to make it 56-42 with 13 minutes to go.

The pace of the game was frenetic.

Over the next 5 minutes the game hovered around an 8-12 point UM advantage.

McClellan kept scoring, even making a 26 footer to keep the lead at 14.

But the discrepancy at the line continued to give VT life.

Tonye Jekiri's night ended when he appeared to get fouled underneath, got no call, and was whistled for a touch foul on the rebound.  TJ was also T'd up when he reacted to the call, and that was that for him.

Suddenly it was an 8 point game.

Down the stretch, McClellan made another huge bucket, and UM knocked down enough FTs to survive.

It was a solid win, and a nice piece of revenge over a Tech team that came into the game winners of 6 in a row

Next Up:  Virginia in the semis.   Stay tuned for more on that game right here on SOTU.