Hurricanes Outlast Virginia in Overtime, 70-68
|Box Score | Photo Gallery | UM Postgame Press Conference | UVA Postgame Press Conference
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) – Game on the line, maybe even the season on the line, and Miami freshman Rion Brown insisted he was feeling no pressure.
And then he proved it, hitting perhaps the biggest shots of Miami’s season.
Brown made three free throws to tie the game with 13.7 seconds left in regulation, Adrian Thomas finished with career-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds and Miami beat Virginia 70-68 in overtime on Saturday.
“It was nothing,” Brown said.
Oh, it was much more than nothing.
A second-straight nail-biter – Miami beat Georgia Tech 59-57 on Thursday – gave the Hurricanes consecutive wins for the first time since late December. Virginia gave the Hurricanes plenty of help, fouling Miami shooters on 3-point tries twice in the final 39 seconds of regulation and misfiring on 13 of its 22 free throws.
“We played well enough, certainly, to win that game,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “We defended well, we worked the clock, got shots at the end of the clock, scored, didn’t turn it over, handled the pressure. Then to foul the 3-point shooters, I need to look at the tape. I really do.
“I don’t know if there was a lot of contact,” Bennett added. “But that’s a hard way to lose a basketball game.”
Mustapha Farrakhan scored 20 for Virginia (12-11, 3-6). Joe Harris scored 18 for Virginia, but missed two free throws with his team down 68-66 with 5.8 seconds left in overtime.
In its last four games, Virginia is 30 for 60 at the foul line. The Cavaliers had shot 71 percent for the season until that stretch.
“We’ve been in games where we’ve won it because of our free throw shooting,” Bennett said. “But the last few have cost us.”
Virginia’s defense frustrated Miami for the first 39 minutes.
In the last minute of regulation, the Cavaliers only frustrated themselves.
Leading by five with 38.9 seconds left, Virginia’s ungluing began when Grant was fouled on a 3-point attempt by Farrakhan. Grant made the last two of the ensuing three attempts, and the Hurricanes were within 53-50.
After Farrakhan made two free throws, Brown hit a deep 3 to get Miami within 55-53 with 28.7 seconds remaining. And with Miami down three, Zeglinski ran into Brown as he tried a 3-pointer 15 seconds later.
Brown made the first two, after which Bennett called time-out in an effort to ice the freshman. But Brown rattled in the third, and Miami got the stop it needed to force overtime.
“I just knew he was going to hit them,” Thomas said.
It was setting up as another end-of-game heartbreaker for Miami, which went 0-4 in a four-game stretch late last month, those losses all by 11 points and each essentially decided in the final possession.
This time, though, the Hurricanes survived – despite shooting 39 percent for the day and surviving a horrid start.
“Our execution was outstanding late in the game, coming from behind,” Miami coach Frank Haith said.
Virginia’s offense was again anemic in the first half, scoring only 23 points – the sixth time in the last eight halves in which the Cavaliers failed to crack the 30-point mark.
Nonetheless, they were good enough to take a three-point lead at the break.
Miami started 0 for 8 and 1 for 14 from the floor, trailing 10-2 after nearly 9 minutes. The Hurricanes slowly clawed out of what became a nine-point deficit and pulled into a 20-20 tie late in the period, before Jontel Evans beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer for the Cavaliers.
Johnson had a three-point play with 13:32 left to give Miami its first lead, 35-32. But the Hurricanes went cold again, managing only two points in the next 6½ minutes – and when Harris hit his fourth 3-pointer of the day with 3:37 left, Virginia turned the building silent by taking a 51-44 lead.
Miami rallied, and in the end, it became Virginia’s 13th straight loss in the state of Florida since February 2001
With the win, the Hurricanes are now…
Home Sweet Home
Down to the Final Possession
Thomas’ performance led Miami to 28 points off the bench, while Virginia only mustered four, and none after halftime.
Lid on the Basket
One and Done
Second Half Team
Faces in the Crowd