MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes almost made an early exit from the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Friday before rallying to knock off the Boston College Eagles, 69-58.
The victory sends Miami into the semifinals with the Canes facing the winner of the North Carolina State vs. Virginia game. But the Canes advancing was far from a sure thing through much of the ballgame.
Despite leading by as many as 13 points in the first half, UM couldn’t hold the lead and allowed BC to rally all the way back to take the lead at halftime of the second-round matchup. The eighth-seeded Eagles led UM at the half 27-25.
Boston College utilized a zone defense to frustrate the Canes in the first half while the Eagles’ offense went on a 12-0 run. The game stayed neck and neck for much of the second half until late in the game when UM’s backcourt began to assert itself.
With 1:50 to go in the game, Miami guard Shane Larkin lofted a three point shot off the dribble that hit nothing but the bottom of the net to extend Miami’s lead to 60-55.
From there, Miami never looked back with Larkin again making a highlight-reel play with just 35 seconds to go in the game when he broke free down the court and caught a long pass from fellow guard Trey McKinney-Jones to extend the lead to 65-58.
McKinney-Jones would put the exclamation point on the victory with a dunk to give the Canes the 69-58 victory.
Still, the Canes had major issues in the game, namely poor shooting in the first half. Larkin carried the team through the game with 20 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. Kenny Kadji had a double-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists. McKinney-Jones also had 12 points in the contest.
Overall, the Canes shot 48.1 percent from the field in the game and just 33 percent from behind the three-point line. But where Miami struggled the most was from the free throw line. The Canes hit just 64.7 percent of its free throws, but did hit the big ones at the end that mattered the most.