CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami overcame a possible letdown after its biggest win of the season with another solid conference performance.
Reggie Johnson scored 15 points as the Hurricanes defeated Virginia Tech 65-49 Thursday night. The win followed Miami’s victory over No. 7 Duke on Sunday.
The Hurricanes have now won five straight Atlantic Coast Conference games, their longest streak since they joined the league in 2004-05.
“We’re on a good roll right now,” Johnson said. “I want to keep it going.”
Miami (15-7, 6-3) built an eight-point halftime lead and outscored Virginia Tech 10-4 in the first 4:22 of the second half. Johnson’s layup with 15:38 remaining put the Hurricanes ahead 40-26.
The Hokies (13-11, 2-7) rallied with an 8-0 run. Dorian Finney-Smith’s layup off a Miami turnover with 7:58 remaining ended the run and put Virginia Tech within 47-42.
Trey McKinney Jones and Shane Larkin hit consecutive 3-pointers and the Hurricanes re-established a double-figure lead at 53-42 with 6:34 left.
Johnson said the possibility of the Hurricanes still celebrating the win at Duke “was not an issue.”
“This game against Virginia Tech is one of our rivals,” he said. “Ever since I’ve been here we have had good battles.”
Larkin scored 14 points and Kenny Kadji finished with 11 points for Miami.
“When people look at you, they may look at a whole series of games,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “We don’t. We just look at one.
“Every team in this league is capable of beating you any time, any place. Every game is very different. Your opponent is different.”
Erick Green led Virginia Tech with 17 points and increased his double-digit scoring streak to 25 consecutive games.
The Hurricanes ran off 10 unanswered points and took the lead for good during a 3:34 span midway through the first half. DeQuan Jones’ baseline jumper with 8:38 remaining capped the run and gave Miami a 20-8 lead.
Virginia Tech was held scoreless for a 6:21 stretch until Finney Smith’s put-back basket with 6:06 left made it 20-10. The Hokies had eight turnovers and missed five shots during their scoring drought.
“We saw the enemy and it was us,” Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said.
“We had such a good practice today. It’s unbelievable how good a practice we had. We were crisp. We executed. We screened and shared the ball. Then we get in there and there was no carry-over.”
Johnson’s 3-pointer with 2:48 remaining gave the Hurricanes their largest lead of the half at 28-12.
The Hokies responded with a 10-0 run capped by Dorenzo Hudson’s 3-pointer with 23 seconds remaining. Rion Brown’s dunk off a missed shot with 3 seconds left gave the Hurricanes a 30-22 lead at halftime.
“We were very concerned at halftime that we had given them the momentum and were going to fight to get it back,” Larranaga said “But we were able to come out in the second half and pull the lead to double figures.