SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Angel Rodriguez matched his season high with 19 points, Sheldon McClellan added 17 and No. 7 Miami jumped to an early 18-point lead and beat Notre Dame 68-50 victory Wednesday night to move back into a tie with North Carolina for first-place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Hurricanes (24-5, 13-4) held the Fighting Irish (19-10, 10-7) to a season-low 34 percent shooting as Notre Dame struggled offensively for the fourth straight game, losing three of those. The Hurricanes also had an 39-16 advantage in rebounds and a 32-24 edge in points in the paint.
Zach Auguste led the Irish with 18 points and 11 rebounds and Bonzie Colson add 11 points.
The Hurricanes jumped to a 21-3 lead early and never let the Irish get any closer than seven points. The Irish cut to the lead to nine points with 12 minutes to go, but Miami quickly stretched the lead back out to 15. Notre Dame made one last gasp with a 6-0 spurt with to cut the lead to 59-50 with a jumper by V.J. Beachem with 3:03 left. The Hurricanes ended the streak with a 6-0 run of its own, capped by a pair of free throws by Rodriguez.
Tonye Jekiri added 14 points for the Hurricanes and Davon Reed had 10.
The game was more lopsided than their first meeting, when the Hurricanes led by 12 at halftime and by 20 midway through the second half en route to the 79-70 victory. On Wednesday, the Irish made just 1 of their first 10 shots while the Hurricanes made 7 of 10 to jump to a 21-3 lead eight minutes in.
After Tonye Jekiri missed Miami’s opening shot, the Hurricanes made five straight. It started when Rodriguez drove inside on back-to-back possessions for easy layups, then made a bounce pass to McClellan, who turned it into a three-point play when he was fouled by V.J. Beachem. After a layup by Reed, Rex Plueger finally ended Notre Dame’s scoreless streak when he hit a 3-pointer.
The Irish used a 7-0 run to close to 29-22 when Jackson drove inside and the ball bounced twice off the rim before falling in. The Hurricanes ended the half with a 6-0 spurt to lead 35-22 at halftime.
Miami: The Hurricanes have won eight of their last nine. … Miami evened the all-time series at 10-10. … McClellan has scored 10 or more points in 17 straight games. …. McClellan has scored 10 or more points in 17 straight games. … Anthony Lawrence Jr., who made all four 3-pointers he attempted and scored a season-high 18 points in Miami’s 79-70 victory over Notre Dame on Feb. 3,
Notre Dame: The Irish lost back-to-back games for the first time since the end of the 2013-14 season. … Auguste has scored 10 or more points in nine straight games. … Notre Dame had seven field goals in the first half and made six free throws. … Senior captain Austin Burgett started for the third time this season. … Football coach Brian Kelly and quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford sat courtside.
Miami is at Virginia Tech on Saturday.
Notre Dame hosts North Carolina State on Saturday.
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