MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The University of Miami boosted its NCAA tournament credentials Sunday with a 78-62 victory over the 15th ranked Florida State Seminoles at the Bank United Center.
UM was without its top player, Reggie Johnson, who was declared ineligible by the school an hour before the game. An investigation revealed members of his family had received benefits not allowed under NCAA rules.
But UM didn’t let the loss of their man in the middle hurt. Durand Scott scored 17 points to lead the charge for the Hurricanes.
“It’s our rivalry game,” Scott said. “To get a quality win like that, it’s great. And I’m sure the rest of the team feels the same way.”
It was the first time Miami had beaten Florida State in the last six games between the two schools. Overall, Miami had lost 11 of the last 12 games against the Noles.
UM staff said they are seeking a quick resolution from the NCAA in an attempt to reinstate Johnson, who is averaging 10.6 points per game.
“It’s my understanding that Reggie and his family didn’t know of any impermissible benefit,” coach Jim Larranaga said. “It was somebody else.”
The Hurricanes used Johnson’s absence as motivation.
“Just because one person goes down, you just can’t quit,” Scott said. “I’m pretty sure he wanted us to step up and do the things necessary that Coach wants us to win basketball games.”