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Grant Leads Miami Rally Past West Virginia

Grant_wideWV.jpg

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — (AP) Malcolm Grant scored a career-high 26 points Saturday to spark a comeback by the Miami Hurricanes, who overcame a 13-point deficit with 12 minutes left and beat West Virginia 79-76.

The Hurricanes (6-2) scored on 14 of 15 possessions down the stretch, sank eight of their last nine shots and made four consecutive free throws in the final nine seconds to seal the win.

The Mountaineers (5-2) fell to 77-4 under coach Bob Huggins when they take a lead of at least 10 points.

West Virginia, playing for the first time this season on an opponent’s court, was up 54-41 before Miami rallied. Grant’s three-point play cut the deficit to one, and he then sank a 3-pointer that gave the Hurricanes their first lead of the second half, 66-64.

Reggie Johnson‘s layup put the Hurricanes ahead to stay, 68-66. Durand Scott‘s driving scoop with 28 seconds left made it 75-71.

Grant went 13 for 14 at the line, including the game’s final two points with 6.3 seconds left. Scott then intercepted a pass to clinch the win.

The Hurricanes won their fourth game in a row. West Virginia, which lost only seven times last season and reached the Final Four, has been beaten twice in the past four games.

Johnson, who is averaging a double-double this season, was limited by foul trouble to 20 minutes but still managed 14 points and seven rebounds. Adrian Thomas added 13 points, including consecutive 3-pointers to trigger Miami’s comeback.

The Hurricanes have won 18 consecutive nonconference regular-season games at home.

West Virginia’s Casey Mitchell scored 18 points but shot only 5 for 15, ending his four-game streak of at least 25 points. Teammate Kevin Jones had 14 points but shot 5 for 17. Darryl Bryant scored 20 points while missing just one shot for the Mountaineers. They went 21 for 24 at the free-throw line but only 7 for 22 from 3-point range.

 

  1st 2nd F
Miami 33 46 79
West Virginia 35 41 72
Team Stat Comparison
  um.gif UM LogoWVA
Points 79 76
FG Made-Attempted 26-55 24-55
FG Percentage 47.3 43.6
3P Made-Attempted 8-16 7-22
3P Percentage 50.0 31.8
FT Made-Attempted 19-25 21-24
FT Percentage 76.0 87.5
Rebounds 31 37
Assists 10 14
Turnovers 11 12
Miami Stat Leaders West Virginia
M. Grant 26 Points 20 D. Bryant
R. Johnson 7 Rebounds 7 C. Mitchell
Grant/Thomas 3 Assists 3 3 Players
3 Players 2 Steals 2 Flowers/Mazzulla
None 0 Blocks 1 3 Players

Tonight’s Starters
Starting for Miami tonight was Durand Scott, Malcolm Grant, Garrius Adams, Julian Gamble and Reggie Johnson.

He Shoots and He Scores
Finishing with a career- and game-high 26 points, Malcolm Grant recorded his third 20-point scoring performance of the season. It also marked his fifth double-figure scoring performance of the season and third of the last four games. The junior converted three three-pointers and hit a career-high 13-of-14 free throws.

Home Court Advantage
Miami has now won 18 consecutive non-conference regular season games at home and is 5-0 at the BankUnited Center this season. The `Canes last dropped a non-conference home game on Dec. 2, 2008, to Ohio State, 73-68, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Over the last four seasons, the Hurricanes have compiled a 43-10 (.811) record at home and are 73-27 (.730) at home in their seventh season under head coach Frank Haith.

The Series
With today’s victory, Miami evens the all-time series with West Virginia, 7-7. This was the first meeting between the teams since Miami joined the ACC following the 2003-04 season.

Under Frank Haith, the Hurricanes are now 5-4 versus Big East teams — including a 2-0 mark at the BankUnited Center — and have won three of their last four versus Big East opponents.

Moving on Up
With four three-pointers versus West Virginia, Adrian Thomas now has 131 over his career and is within three threes of Miami’s top-10 all-time career three-point leaders. Kevin Norris (1994-98) is 10th with 134 career treys.

Keys to Victory
Miami is still undefeated this season when: scoring 70-or-more points, shooting 40 percent or better from the field and/or committing fewer turnovers than its opponent.

On the Double
Sophomore center Reggie Johnson finished with 14 points and seven rebounds in just 20 minutes tonight after being hampered by foul trouble, and has now scored 10-plus points in nine-straight games, the second longest active streak in the ACC.

Conference Pride
In a strong day for the ACC, conference members picked up wins over three of the 2010 NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight with top-ranked Duke’s win over Butler, Miami’s win over West Virginia and North Carolina’s win over Kentucky.