NCAA

Clemson’s Game Plan Against Larkin Almost Works

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CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 23: Shane Larkin #0 of the Miami Hurricanes scores while being defended by Amile Jefferson #21 of the Duke Blue Devils on January 23, 2013 at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

CORAL GABLES, FL – JANUARY 23: Shane Larkin #0 of the Miami Hurricanes scores while being defended by Amile Jefferson #21 of the Duke Blue Devils on January 23, 2013 at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

UM

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes remained undefeated in Atlantic Coast Conference play Sunday evening with an ugly 45-43 victory over the Clemson Tigers. The Tigers had a game plan that almost worked to stop the mighty Canes this season.

Combined with one of the worst shooting nights for the Canes since last year, Clemson focused their attention on the defensive end on keeping point guard Shane Larkin in front of them throughout the game.

Clemson’s plan forced Larkin into getting rid of the ball before he was ready and sent Larkin to a 2-8 shooting night along with three assists and three turnovers. With Larkin unable to draw a double-team on screens, it kept Durand Scott covered most of the night leaving him to force shots.

Scott finished the game shooting 1-8 for 3 points and 2 turnovers while fellow guard Trey McKinney-Jones also couldn’t get going finishing 2-5 for 6 points and 3 turnovers.

Miami struggled shooting all over the court against the Tigers. The Canes shot just 35 percent for the game overall from the field and was 3-19, or 16 percent from behind the three-point line. Miami scored just 18 points in the first half, while holding Clemson to just 16.

For a comparison, the Canes scored 38 points in a half in the previous game against the Florida State Seminoles.

Still, Miami’s defense came to play against Clemson. The Canes held the Tigers to just 30 percent from the field and Clemson especially struggled from the free throw line. Clemson finished shooting 39 percent from the charity stripe and just 24 percent from behind the three-point line. Miami also outrebounded Clemson 43-37.

One of the signs of a championship-caliber team is being able to win ugly, especially on the road. Miami football fans can remember back to the last time the team won the National Championship and seeing Ed Reed strip a ball from a teammate to run it back to seal an ugly win over Boston College.

Miami’s basketball team struggles from the field and Clemson’s focus on cutting off the head of the snake, Larkin as point guard, pushed Miami all the way to the buzzer. But the Canes just kept coming and wouldn’t let the game get away.

With the victory, Miami moved to 12-0 in the ACC and is the only team in the country that is still undefeated in conference play. The Canes are expected to move up to number two in the country when the polls are released later Monday afternoon.

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