After coming off one of the biggest wins in school history against Duke, the Miami Hurricanes proved once again that this season is not a fluke.
The Hurricanes defeated the Maryland Terrapins 78-63 Wednesday and have won four straight tough ACC games. Miami has now won five of their last six against Maryland.
“It was a hard-fought ball game,” Miami head coach Frank Haith said. “I thought our guys were really focused. Ours guys executed well and we played great defense. We got some separation because we got stops defensively.”
The Canes (19-7, 6-6 ACC) completely dominated the Terrapins (17-11, 7-6) down the stretch. Jack McClinton nailed a three-pointer with 3:03 remaining to spark the run. On the following possession, forward Dwayne Collins threw down a thunderous dunk, putting the game out of reach. The Hurricanes finished on a 17-5 run.
“There is no question we played hard,” Haith said. “We went into the game looking to win.”
Five Hurricanes finished with double figures. Senior Anthony King led the team with 14 points and five blocks. Both McClinton and Collins added 12 points.
Miami had a season low six turnovers, shot 47 percent from the field and went 22-for-24 from the free-throw line.
“Miami is good,” Maryland head coach Gary Williams said. “They have shown how good they are this past week. It is always tough in the ACC. That separates our league from any other league.”
For Haith, the big wins have truly been something special.
“Since I have been here this was the greatest week we ever have had,” Haith said. “That was a great week for us.”
Nearly three weeks ago, the Hurricanes were 2-6 in the ACC and were on the verge of letting go of their best season in many years. Instead they remained steadfast.
“I believe we have been doing this all year. We are always a confident team,” McClinton said. “The wins have really boosted our confidences. The team is coming around at good time. We just need to go out there, play hard and be humble.”
Having quality wins in their last two games should help the Canes turn more heads come tournament selection time.
“That is our goal, the NCAA tournament,” said James Dews, who scored 13 points. “That is our team’s dream. So we just take one game at a time and keep getting victories.”
Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.