When head coach Frank Haith takes his jacket off, it’s a sign that it’s time for his Miami Hurricanes to buckle down. When the tie comes off, it’s a sign that his team is in big trouble.
It was a tie-off kind of night at the BankUnited Center, but Haith and the Hurricanes emerged victorious, overcoming a 17-point second half defecit and crushing the Maryland Terrapins in a crucial home-court conference game, 62-60.
Miami struggled in the first half, shooting only 32% from the field. Those woes continued until the 12 minute mark, when Dwayne Collins had an authoratitive slam dunk to energize his teammates and fans. The momentum carried Miami all the way back, until Jack McClinton buried a fade-away three-point shot with less than 30 seconds remaining to put the Terrapins away for good.
“They just kept playing, kept playing,” Haith said after the game. “You’ve got to protect your home court to get in the ncaa tournament, and you’ve got to win this game.”
As usual, the star of the game was the senior McClinton, who scored 18 points, highlighted by the game-winning shot.
“In the first half, i was pressing way too much,” McClinton said of his performance. “In the second half, i calmed down and my teammates started hitting shots. You’ve got to trust in your teammates.”
Despite the first-half struggles, Haith showed the confidence in his star that led Miami to victory.
“[McClinton] kept asking for the ball. I believe in Jack.”