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CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – No. 14 Miami (Fla.) returns home from a 1-2 ACC road trip still searching for its missing offense as it faces Wake Forest on Saturday.
The Hurricanes snapped a two-game losing streak in unimpressive fashion against last-place Boston College while the Demon Deacons are looking to snap a three-game conference losing streak.
After struggling down the stretch in losses at Virginia and Clemson, Miami pulled away late for a 67-53 win over the inexperienced Eagles, who had lost their previous four ACC games by an average of 22.5 points.
“Against Clemson, we just collapsed in the last five minutes – offensively and defensively,” senior shooting guard Sheldon McClellan, who led the Hurricanes with 19 points, told reporters after Wednesday’s victory. “This game I think we did a better job of being poised down the stretch.”
Miami scored 85 points per game in running up an 11-1 non-conference record but is averaging only 65.2 points in ACC play and have topped 70 only once, scoring 72 in a win over Florida State.
Danny Manning’s Demon Deacons, who are in the midst playing three straight games against ranked foes with Virginia up next, trailed by as many as 27 points in their 83-68 loss to No. 2 North Carolina on Wednesday.
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (10-8, 1-5 ACC): Senior forward Devin Thomas is the leader on both ends of the court for an otherwise young team, averaging a team-best 16.4 points on 57.9 percent shooting (third in the ACC) while grabbing 10.4 rebounds (second in the ACC) and blocking almost two shots a game. Freshman guard Bryant Crawford (12.8 points) has led the team in scoring eight times, including his 18-point performance against the Tar Heels last time out, and is hitting 40 percent on 3-pointers. Six of Wake’s top eight scorers are either freshmen (two) or sophomores (four).
ABOUT MIAMI (14-3, 3-2): While McClellan, the team’s leading scorer at 16.1 points a game, has remained as efficient as ever during the team’s offensive power outage, he hasn’t had much help with the team hitting only 42.4 percent from the field and 25.3 percent on 3-point shots in ACC play. Senior point guard Angel Rodriguez showed signs of breaking out of a shooting slump (30.4 percent shooting and 2-of-25 on 3s in ACC play) with 12 points in the second half against the Eagles. Senior center Tonye Jekiri, fourth in the ACC in rebounding at 9.9 per game, pulled down 17 boards against BC, while sophomore backup point guard Ja’Quan Newton (11.5) continues to be the team’s second-most reliable scorer.
- North Carolina had 15 steals against Wake as turnovers continue to be a problem as the Demon Deacons are averaging 14.6 — 3.8 more than their foes.
- Wake Forest beat Miami 72-70 last season at home but have lost four in a row on the road against the Hurricanes.
- Miami hit a season-low two three-pointers (2-of-10) against BC with McClellan making both of them.
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