NCAA

UM Defense Smothering ACC Opponents

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team is in a rare position for the school, at the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Hurricanes are a game-and-a-half ahead of the North Carolina State Wolfpack thanks to two impressive victories.

The Canes first completely dominated the then-number one ranked Duke Blue Devils and then on Sunday annihilated the Florida State Seminoles at the Bank United Center, 71-47. But the score didn’t fully show the smothering defensive effort UM put on against FSU.

Florida State shot 30.8 percent for the game and just 25.9 percent in the second half of the game against the Canes. In the second half, Miami’s defense held FSU scoreless from behind the arc and the Noles shot just 17.6 percent from 3-point land in the game.

Miami outrebounded FSU, especially on the offensive glass and limited FSU to just one player in double-figures in the game, Ian Miller had 12 points.

Miami’s defense has been the key to the team’s 15-3 overall record and 6-0 conference record this year. The Hurricanes have yet to allow an opponent to shoot over 50 percent from the field and has held 14 of 18 opponents this year under 41 percent shooting.

UM’s defense has also held five opponents this season to 50 or fewer points.

The 6-0 start in conference play a first in school history since it joined its first conference in 1991-92. UM is also on a seven-game winning streak for the first time since 2009-2010. But UM can’t rest on its laurels in the ACC.

The Canes have a tough game coming up on Saturday against North Carolina State in Raleigh. The Wolfpack are 16-4 overall on the season and right behind Miami in the ACC standings. If UM keeps up its current torrid pace, all eyes will be focused on a March 2 rematch with Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham.

Still, Canes fans are getting behind the team and have sold out the Bank United Center for two straight games. UM will be on the road until February 5 when they come home for two games against Boston College and North Carolina.

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