CORAL GABLES (SportsDirect Inc.) — No. 11 Miami (Fla.) looks to get off to an 2-0 ACC start before facing three consecutive road tests while visiting Florida State tries to avoid an 0-3 start in league play when the in-state foes meet on Saturday.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Daniella Mayor Levine Cava: 'Countywide Curfew Could Be Lifted By April 5th'
The Hurricanes overcame a 5-of-26 first-half shooting performance in their ACC opening 64-51 win over Syracuse last Saturday by scoring 47 second-half points, rallying from an eight-point halftime deficit in the process.
Miami has built its record behind an efficient offense but the defense came to the rescue against Syracuse, holding the Orange to 32.1 percent shooting and just 14 free throws, 20 less than the Hurricanes attempted.
The dynamic backcourt trio of Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasley combined for 63 points in Florida State’s 106-90 loss to North Carolina, but the Brice Johnson-led Tar Heels dominated inside, outrebounding the Seminoles 50-33 with 32 offensive boards leading to 17 second-chance points.
“We played with four guards a majority of the game and I think that really made a difference,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton told reporters after the game. “They exploited that we didn’t match them in the physicality and athleticism in the interior.”
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ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (10-4, 0-2 ACC): While freshmen Bacon (17.2) and Beasley (17.0) are the team’s leading scorers, Rathan-Mayes is coming off a season-high 30 points against UNC, which isn’t good news for the Hurricanes considering the sophomore scored an astounding 30 points in the final four minutes and 38 seconds in Miami last season when Jim Larranaga’s team barely held off the Seminoles 81-77. “Rathan-Mayes was absolutely unconscious,” Larranaga told reporters earlier this week. “After the game he should have declared for the NBA draft … I’ve never seen anyone do that, and I’ve seen some of the greatest players in the history of the game play.” The Seminoles’ frontcourt starters – 7-4 senior Boris Bojanovsky and 6-8 senior Montay Brandon – had only two shot attempts against UNC and will need to do more to pull off an upset .
ABOUT MIAMI (12-1, 1-0 ACC): The Hurricanes, who trailed for only 11:33 in their first 10 wins but have been behind for 31:49 in their victories over Princeton and Syracuse, have gotten big second-half performances from backup point guard Ja’Quan Newton in both comeback victories. Shooting guard Sheldon McClellan leads the Hurricanes in scoring at 15.9 points and leads all ACC guards with a 54.2 shooting percentage. Four of the team’s top six scorers – McClellan, Newton (51.6), 3-point specialist Ivan Cruz Uceda (55.6) and 7-foot center Tonye Jerkiri (59.0) – are shooting above 50 percent from the field.
1. Hamilton is the winningest coach in history at both schools, winning 146 games at Miami from 1992-2000 and 246 in 13-plus seasons at Florida State.
2. Florida State leads the all-time series 42-33 but the Hurricanes are 26-12 at home.
3. Bacon and Beasley are the top two freshman scorers in the ACC.MORE NEWS: Dolphin Legend & Humanitarian Nat Moore Honored With Mural In Overtown
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