CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Durand Scott shook off a knee injury and helped Miami snap a brief losing skid.
Scott and Kenny Kadji scored 18 points each to lead the Hurricanes to a 74-56 victory over Wake Forest Saturday afternoon.
Late in Miami’s 73-64 loss against North Carolina Wednesday night, Scott landed awkwardly driving to the basket and hyperextended his left knee. Scott’s status for Saturday’s game was uncertain until 30 minutes before tipoff.
The junior guard responded as he shot 7-of-11 from the field and finished with seven rebounds in 30 minutes.
“Ever since the injury I felt I was going to be out,” Scott said. “But after the MRI I got the good news. I was well taken care of with treatment.
“Coming into the game I felt ok. As soon as the game started, I felt sluggish. I felt better as the game progressed.”
The Hurricanes (16-9, 7-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) wore down the Deacons with a 13-0 run during a 4:29 span early in the second half. Shane Larkin’s 3-pointer with 11:44 left ended the surge and gave Miami a 56-42 advantage.
C.J. Harris’ lay-up with 11:31 remaining ended the Deacons’ drought. Miami outscored Wake Forest 10-4 in the next 3:31 behind consecutive 3-pointers from Kadji and Garrius Adams for a 64-48 lead.
“In the second half we just ran the floor and played really hard,” Kadji said. “We went faster and tried to execute a little better. In the first half things were slow and we had no energy.”
Reggie Johnson’s layup with 5:42 remaining gave the Hurricanes their first 20-point lead at 70-50.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Hurricanes, who had won five straight until consecutive losses to North Carolina and Florida State.
“If you focus on the present, then the score takes care of itself,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said of the Hurricanes’ NCAA tournament aspirations. “That’s what we’ve asked the guys to do. We have to focus on the daily process, not what’s ahead and what’s behind.”
Harris scored 14 points to lead Wake Forest, which has lost seven of its last eight. The Deacons (12-15, 3-10) shot 52 percent from the field in the first half but 30 in the second half.
Miami capitalized on a 39-24 advantage in rebounds, including 15-5 on the offensive end.
“They really pounded the offensive glass on us in the second half,” Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik said “We didn’t put bodies on people. They were able to get second chance points. They got their separation and we couldn’t recover from that.”
The Deacons twice opened six-point leads early in the first half as they converted eight of their first 12 shots.
Harris’ one of two free throws with 9:21 remaining gave Wake Forest a 23-18 lead before the Hurricanes rallied with nine unanswered points in the next 2:23.
Scott keyed the run with four points and Garrius Adams’ 3-pointer with 6:58 left capped the surge and put Miami ahead, 27-23.
Harris hit consecutive 3-pointers and Wake Forest took a 34-32 lead with 1:05 remaining. Kadji’s dunk with 46 seconds left tied it 34-34 at halftime.
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