Basketball, Commentary, Sports

Miami trumps Syracuse, must shoot for consistency in upcoming ACC games

Courtesy HurricaneSports

Courtesy HurricaneSports

Angel Rodriguez found himself in familiar territory Saturday night as he stood at the free-throw line in front of a roaring crowd, calmly in control of the fate of the game. He sank both of his shots effortlessly, much to the dismay of the NCAA season-high crowd of 30,677 at the Carrier Dome. The Canes beat Syracuse 66-62.

It was a historic night for Coach Jim Larrañaga and Tonye Jekiri, center.

Larrañaga picked up his 550th career win and 301st conference win, while Jekiri had the night of his career, sealing a double-double in the final few minutes of the game, which included 13 points, 3-for-4 free throws and 15 rebounds. He leads the ACC with 10 average rebounds per game. He also picked up three blocks, the same amount that Syracuse had as a team.

Despite Syracuse going on a 12-2 run right before the half and cutting Miami’s lead to one with only a few minutes left in the game, the Hurricanes tamed the Orange with strict coverage of senior forward Rakeem Christmas. With double coverage on Christmas, they were able to hold him to only five points in the first half.

In a game where momentum shifted greatly over the course of 40 minutes, the Hurricanes were able to cling to a lead for nearly the entire game, thanks to bench points and free throws.

Miami had four bench scorers who totaled 15 points, including a clutch 3-pointer from point guard Manu Lecomte in the last 23 seconds of the game, compared to Syracuse’s three bench points. Also, Syracuse’s abysmal 42.1 percent free-throw shooting proved to be a major problem when Christmas missed a game-changing two free throws in the final 10 seconds.

Miami has improved to sixth place in the ACC with a now 4-2 conference record while snapping a four-game losing streak against the Orange. The Hurricanes have shown their ability to play up against top-ranked opponents, as both ACC losses were to No. 2 Virginia, which went into double overtime, and then No. 12 Notre Dame after leading for 29 minutes.

They now must focus on the chemistry between transfers Rodriguez and McClellan, who teamed up for two SportsCenter-worthy alley-oops in the second half, as well as consistency behind the arc.

Free-throw and three-point consistency must be improved, as Miami can be a team that lives and dies by the three-pointer. No Hurricane shot from the line until 18:13 in the second half, so they must be more proactive in drawing fouls.

With ACC play in full swing for the Hurricanes, they look to continue to climb the ladder against Georgia Tech, Florida State, No. 10 Louisville and Clemson in the next two weeks.

The red-hot 14-5 Hurricanes will take on Georgia Tech, who has yet to win an ACC matchup, at 9 p.m. Wednesday in the BankUnited Center.

January 24, 2015

Reporters

Alexa Pappas


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Miami trumps Syracuse, must shoot for consistency in upcoming ACC games”

  1. Nice article. Next time you or one of your big shot reporters gets some solid face time with Jim L can you please tell him that there are other plays than the Angel Rod. fade away buzzer beater 3.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

When UM coach Mark Richt summoned quarterback Malik Rosier into his office last year, a few months a ...

Quarterback Malik Rosier of the No. 8-ranked Miami Hurricanes maintains a solid third place in what ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes will look to slow down an inspired Syracuse team at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. ...

University of Miami head coach Mark Richt was selected to the 20-member Paul "Bear" Bryant ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

University of Miami sophomore Bruce Brown Jr. was among 21 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

Head coach Katie Meier and senior forward/center Erykah Davenport will represent Miami Thursday at t ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.