Basketball, Inauguration Week, Sports

Hurricanes men’s basketball dominate Duke in 80-69 win

Redshirt senior Sheldon McClellan jumps for a layup during Monday’s night game against Duke at the BankUnited Center. The Hurricanes defeated the Blue Devils 80-69. Nick Gangemi // Editor-in-Chief

Redshirt senior Sheldon McClellan jumps for a layup during Monday’s night game against Duke at the BankUnited Center. The Hurricanes defeated the Blue Devils 80-69. Nick Gangemi // Editor-in-Chief

There wasn’t any court slapping like in Miami’s 90-63 win over then-No. 1 Duke in January 2013. With Miami’s recent play, the No. 15 Hurricanes’ 80-69 win over the No. 24 Blue Devils in front of 7,972 fans at the BankUnited Center on Monday night is simply what’s expected of this team now.

“They’re better than we are. They’re one of the best teams,” Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski said of the Canes. “We’re just not as good as they are.”

After thrashing then-No. 4 Duke in Durham 90-74 last year – Duke’s only loss at home of the season – the Canes thoroughly outclassed the Blue Devils on both ends of the floor Monday night.

“I thought our defense was terrific from start to finish. Our defense was great,” said Miami Head Coach Jim Larrañaga, who is now 4-2 against Duke in his time at Miami. “What was the whole key to the game, offensively, we had 24 assists and seven turnovers. That was fantastic.”

The Hurricanes (16-3, 5-2) started the game with an alley-oop from Angel Rodriguez to Sheldon McClellan, and the team never slowed down. The Canes overwhelmed the Blue Devils in a 9:05 stretch in the middle of the second half to take a commanding 14-point lead. After a Grayson Allen layup made it a one-score game with 18:08 on the clock, the Canes proceeded to outscore the Blue Devils 18-6 over the next the nine-plus minutes. Duke (15-6, 4-4) never got within five after the Hurricanes’ flurry.

The Canes led the entire second period, thanks in large part to 16 second-half points on 6-of-8 shooting by McClellan.

“I thought I wasn’t as aggressive in the first half as I was in the second half. I just figure out what the team’s doing in the first half and then I attack the second half,” said McClellan, who finished with a game-high 21 points.

Miami relentlessly attacked Duke’s zone defense for shots right at the rim or to kick the ball out for a three in the first half. The Blue Devils entered the game leading the ACC with 9.4 threes made per game, but the Canes had the hot touch from behind the perimeter. Miami went 6-of-12 on threes compared to 3-of-11 for Duke.

Miami’s effective drive-and-kick game led to 11 first half assists, eight more than Duke. Rodriguez commanded the Canes’ attack from deep with 3-of-5 shooting on threes, including back-to-back shots to end a 10-0 run by Duke early in the game. The redshirt senior point guard also tallied three assists and three rebounds to go with his 11 points in the first half.

“I like playing the powerhouses. That’s what we came to the ACC for,” Rodriguez said.

The Canes shot 50.8 percent from the field while holding the Blue Devils to 41.7 percent. After dropping back-to-back games to Virginia and Clemson a week and a half ago, the Canes have won their last three games.

The Canes next play North Carolina State at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina.

January 25, 2016


Mark Singer

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