The Miami Hurricanes took one step closer to the NCAA tournament with a come-from-behind win, defeating Boston College, 74-61.
It took the Hurricanes (21-8, 8-7 ACC) eight years to finally get a win against Boston College (13-15, 4-11), losing 13 consecutive games to the Eagles. The Canes improve to 14-2 at home this season, the most home wins in school history.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Miami head coach Frank Haith said. “It was a struggle for us for a while. But you got to give our guys a lot of credit.”
The backcourt was tremendous for the Hurricanes, combining for 46 points. Jack McClinton finished with 21 points, 16 coming in the second half. Lance Hurdle had 19 points (all in the second half) and seven rebounds, and he was perfect from the free-throw line, going 10-for-10.
“We got going,” Haith said. “It all started with Jack. We got him open looks and he knocked them down. I thought Lance was key down the stretch. Heck of a win.”
In the previous game against Boston College, Miami missed 12 of its first 14 shots and fell behind by 23 points before a comeback bid ended with a 76-66 loss. But this time, the Canes couldn’t accept defeat.
Once again McClinton knocked down key shots down the stretch. McClinton was struggling to find his shot for the first 29 minutes, but he finally nailed his first three-pointer with 10:43 left in the second half.
“I think the game shifted tremendously,” Boston College head coach Al Skinner said, referring to that shot.
From there, Miami went on an 18-6 run to overtake Boston College for the lead. In that span, McClinton nailed four three-pointers, then James Dews sealed the game with a three-pointer with 2:30 remaining.
“It feels great,” McClinton said. “We have worked hard everyday. [This is our] first winning season in the ACC.”
In the first half, Miami simply couldn’t find the bottom of the net. The Canes shot 6-26 from the field, didn’t make a three-point basket and had 10 turnovers.
Once again the Hurricanes started out cold against the Eagles, not picking up their first field goal until the 15:38 mark. Boston College entered halftime with a 27-20 lead. Point guard Tyrese Rice took it right at Miami, scoring 18 of Boston College’s 27 points. But in the second half, Rice was held to only four points.
With this win, the Hurricanes are feeling pretty confident.
“Heck yeah,” Haith said when asked if Miami is in the NCAA tournament. “The crowd was amazing tonight.”
Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at email@example.com.