MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team can finally turn its complete focus to the Duke Blue Devils after surviving a big scare at the hands of Boston College Wednesday night.
Miami escaped Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts with a 60-59 victory after Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan missed the third of three free throws to seal the victory for the Hurricanes.
For Miami, it stretched the season record to 13-3 and kept the squad undefeated in Atlantic Coast Conference play ahead of Duke’s visit next week. The 4-0 conference start is the best for the Canes sicne they opened Big East conference play in 1997-98 at 5-0.
Making the situation even more impressive is the fact that Miami has played half of the season without center Reggie Johnson. The massive presence in the middle missed his eighth straight game Wednesday night with a broken left thumb.
The Hurricanes pulled one out thanks to some late 3-point shooting and Durand Scott’s 4-for-4 effort from the free throw line even though Larranaga wasn’t happy with his team’s defensive effort.
“Honestly it was very much like we expected from their approach,” he said. “They’re really good at spreading you out and getting layups, dunks and 3s. We were hoping our defense would be a whole lot better than it was, and offensively we were never in rhythm. But Durand came through for us, hit those free throws and drew the offensive foul.”
But the competition for the Canes is about to get much, much tougher when Duke rolls into town next Wednesday night. The Blue Devils are the measuring stick for programs in the ACC and were at one time the number one team in the country this year.
The Canes are encouraging a sellout of the Bank United Center for the Duke game to help give Miami a strong home court advantage. Just a few hundred tickets remain for the Duke game, which is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday and can be seen on ESPN.
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