It wasn't pretty, but Miami will take it. When you look up at the ACC standings on Monday the Hurricanes will be right at the top with NC State.
The first half of this game is nearly indescribable.
Kenny Kadji came out firing, hitting two from distance for an early UM lead. Julian Gamble keyed the defensive intensity with a block on Alex Len, and Miami looked like the more energetic team early on. Things really slowed down from there. Neither team shot the ball particularly well, with the Terps missing their first 6 from downtown. A big key for 'the 'Canes was their ability to hold their own on the glass (at one point it was 15 even). The defense was good and the offense horrible. A sloppy and anemic first half ended with the Hurricanes up 19-14.
In the first stanza, Miami was 8-29 from the field and Maryland just 6-29.
Shane Larkin and Seth Allen traded buckets in the opening minute of the second half, as both teams tried to take the lid off the bucket. The two teams actually combined to hit 6 of their first 7 shots in the half. Any chance this game had of turning into a barn-burner however, was defused by a combination of physical play and atrocious free throw shooting. UM missed their first 6 FTs and Maryland 7 of their first 10. There were some curious non calls on both ends of the floor as well. A three point play by Kadji that extended Miami's lead to 35-29 with just under 8 to go, preceded another scoring drought by both teams.
That's when Julian Gamble decided to take over!
A two handed stuff off a nice feed by Trey McKinney Jones was followed by a flying one handed put back off a Durand Scott miss to give UM a double digit lead. Dez Wells made a big time move on the baseline to help keep his team in it, but Miami executed when they needed it most. A clutch jumper by McKinney Jones from the corner with just over 2 minutes to go pretty much iced things. There were some tense moments as Wells and Alex Len kept cutting into the lead, but it was too little too late.
Player of the Game: Gamble. All 8 points and 9 rebounds Julian Gamble accumulated were HUGE.
The Good:A better then decent home crowd provided energy. Coach Larranaga and Kadji took turns imploring the crowd to make noise in the 2nd half.
The Bad: The first half was painful to watch for both teams.
The Ugly: McKinney Jones missed a dunk in the closing seconds. To Trey's credit he did play a nice game with 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Next Game: Miami heads up north to take on the BC Eagles, Wednesday 1/17 at 7PM.
|Trey McKinney Jones||3-11||2-5||4-4||0||8||5||2||12|
- Technical Fouls:
- BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, FL