Down one at intermission and trailing by seven earlier in the half, the Miami Hurricanes got off to a sluggish start against the Virginia Tech Hokies. Twenty minutes later, the rout was complete and the Canes won their 21st game of the season, knocking off the Hokies, 65-49.
Bonus news as Wednesday evening wrapped; Duke upset North Carolina in Chapel Hill, moving the Canes into a first place tie with the Tar Heels in regards to ACC supremacy. It also sets up a hell of a showdown between the two this Saturday afternoon at the Dean Smith Center.
The Canes will ride a five-game win-streak into the final stretch of the regular season. Road trips to North Carolina, Notre Dame and Blacksburg are on deck, while the Canes hosting Virginia and Louisville.
With the biggest road game of the season on-deck, Miami heads to Chapel Hill on a high—responding from early adversity before, rolling Virginia Tech in the second half of a low-scoring game.
The Hokies shot a season-low 29.6-percent—the Canes’ defense a big part of that stat—while Miami shot 68-percent in the second half, outscoring Virginia Tech, 44-27.
Credit Canes’ head coach Jim Larranaga with some quality halftime adjustments.
“To start the game, it was very easy to launch a three, and we fell into that trap,” coach Larranaga said. “In the second half we threw the ball inside.”
The result; a 44-point outburst as Miami ran away from Virginia Tech and saw four players scoring in double figures on the night; Angel Rodriguez (14), Davon Reed (12), Sheldon McClellan (11) and Tonye Jekiri (11).
The Canes were 7-for-23 shooting the first half (30.4%) but improved to 17-for-25 the second half (68%), effectively running away with the game. Miami was also 3-for-5 beyond-the-arc in the second half, after struggling and going 2-for-9 early on.
Reserve guard Ja’Quan Newton was scratched from the line-up just before tip-off due to an unspecified medical condition, but it expected back for Saturday’s showdown against North Carolina.