CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Miami Hurricanes will be looking for a big time bounce back effort in their first home game in weeks.
Coming off a three-game road trip that ended with a nightmarish second half against Duke, Miami hosts Boston College on Wednesday with both teams looking to end ACC losing streaks.
The Hurricanes led No. 17 Duke 36-25 at halftime on Saturday before becoming completely unglued during a 31-4 Blue Devils run to start the second half to lose their second game in a row, 70-58, while the Eagles gave No. 6 North Carolina a scare before falling 90-82 for their third consecutive loss.
Defense had been Miami’s strength prior to giving up a surprising 96 points in a loss at Wake Forest and it looked like the Hurricanes had regained their toughness when they held Duke to its lowest first-half point total of the season.
In the second half, however, the Blue Devils shot a sizzling 66.7 percent and scored 45 points with the help of 10 Miami turnovers.
“We just didn’t take care of the ball, allowed them to get fast-break opportunities and they were able to convert,” Miami senior guard Davon Reed told reporters after the loss. “They sped us up, and we couldn’t get in a rhythm. I don’t remember any game since I’ve been here when a team did that to us.”
While the Eagles didn’t pull off the upset against the Tar Heels, the play by freshman guard Ky Bowman (33 points, four assists) is another sign that coach Jim Christian’s young team is heading in a positive direction after last season’s 0-18 conference campaign.
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ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (9-11, 2-5 ACC): Sophomore guard Jerome Robinson (19.6 points, 50.5 percent shooting, 3.1 assists, 35 steals), Bowman (13.0 points) and sophomore guard A.J. Turner (9.5 points) are the team’s top three scorers and the big pieces in Christian’s rebuilding process.
Robinson is No. 4 in the ACC in scoring and has scored 20 or more points 13 times while Bowman is one of three freshmen in Division I with three 30-point games and Turner leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.38).
Graduate students Connar Tava (7.1 points, 6.1 rebounds) and Mo Jeffers (5.1 points, 5.8 rebounds) are the frontcourt starters and provide a dose of experience for what is otherwise a very young group.
ABOUT MIAMI (12-6, 2-4): Reed (15.4 points, 40.3 percent 3-point shooting) has upped his game during conference play, averaging 18 points, while junior point guard Ja’Quan Newton (14.6 points, 4.0 assists) has seen his production drop, scoring 13.2 points on 41.7 percent shooting in ACC games while having more turnovers (25) than assists (22).
Versatile freshman Bruce Brown (11.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists) continues to improve, especially from 3-point distance where he is 13-of-23 over the last eight games after starting the season 5-of-24.
Senior forward Kamari Murphy (6.3 points, 8.2 rebounds) is the key to Miami’s strong interior defense and is a big reason the Hurricanes rank No. 22 in Division I in rebounding margin (plus-7.1).
- Miami, which committed 18 turnovers against Duke, ranks No. 274th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (.89).
- B.C. leads the all-time series against Miami 24-22 but the Hurricanes have won the last 11 meetings between the teams.
- The Eagles have lost 12 consecutive ACC road games with their last league win coming at Virginia Tech on March 2, 2015.
PREDICTION: Miami 67, Boston College 62 (TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Sports Direct Inc. contributed to this report.)