The Canes host Michigan State on Saturday!


Close Topbar

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.

  1st 2nd OT F
Virginia 23 33 12 68
Miami 20 36 14 70
Team Stat Comparison
Points 70 68
FG Made-Attempted 22-56 24-51
FG Percentage 39.3 47.1
3P Made-Attempted 9-23 11-19
3P Percentage 39.1 57.9
FT Made-Attempted 17-22 9-22
FT Percentage 77.3 40.9
Rebounds 41 29
Assists 8 17
Turnovers 13 11
Miami Stat Leaders UVA
A. Thomas 20 Points 20 M. Farrakhan
A. Thomas 10 Rebounds 8 A. Sene
M. Grant 3 Assists 5 J. Evans
Johnson/Adams 1 Steals 3 J. Harris
R. Johnson 2 Blocks 3 S. Zeglinski

“I don’t know if there was a lot of contact,” Bennett added. “But that’s a hard way to lose a basketball game.”

Thomas added to his day of career-bests by making six 3-pointers for the Hurricanes (14-9, 3-6 Atlantic Coast Conference). Reggie Johnson scored 16 and Malcolm Grant added 11 for Miami.

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

Tonight’s Starters
Starting for Miami tonight was Durand Scott, Malcolm Grant, Garrius Adams, Erik Swoope and Reggie Johnson. The team is now 4-2 with this lineup. Scott, Grant and Johnson have started every game this season. Adams, making his seventh-straight start, played a career-high 40 minutes.

With the win, the Hurricanes are now…

  • 14-9 overall
  • 3-6 ACC
  • 10-2 at the BankUnited Center
  • 8-4 all-time versus UVA

Home Sweet Home
With its 10th home win of the season, the Hurricanes have now notched double-figure wins at the BankUnited Center in four-straight seasons and in seven of eight full seasons calling the arena home.

Down to the Final Possession
This was the seventh-straight game for the Hurricanes that was decided by four points or less. Miami is 3-4 during the stretch, with a two-game winning streak after tonight. The last seven games have been decided by a total of 16 points.

Today marked the first overtime game for the Hurricanes in almost two years, last advancing past regulation at Duke on Feb. 7, 2009. This marked Miami’s first OT win since Jan. 29, 2006 (84-78 at FSU) and its first OT win at home since exactly six years ago on Feb. 5, 2005, with the 75-73 victory against Maryland.

AT Dominates
Adrian Thomas, the sixth-year senior who led the ACC in three point field goal percentage last season, set a few career highs today, knocking down six three-pointers on his way to 20 points and 10 rebounds, all the best marks of his career. It also marked the first double-double of Thomas’ career. With the six baskets from long distance, Thomas has now hit a three-pointer in 17 of his last 18, and 52 of his last 58 games.  Today also marked the 11th time this season and 28th time in his career that Thomas has made at least three three-pointers. 

Thomas’ performance led Miami to 28 points off the bench, while Virginia only mustered four, and none after halftime.

Lid on the Basket
Both teams struggled from the field in the game’s opening minutes, with Virginia’s Joe Harris connecting from deep with 16:15 left in the first half for the first field goal of the game. Miami’s Reggie Johnson scored the team’s first basket with 15:39 left in the first.

Tonight’s Opponent
The Hurricanes have defeated Virginia in all five home meetings, including a 4-0 mark at the BankUnited Center.

From Downtown
With Adrian Thomas’ three-pointer with 8:05 remaining in the first half, the Hurricanes have now made a three-pointer in 283 straight games.

One and Done
There were only four offensive rebounds in the first half with Miami taking three of them. Virginia, last in the conference in offensive boards, finished the game with just one offensive rebound with none in the second half or overtime.

Second Half Team
UM tied a season-low with only 20 first-half points. They scored 36 in the second half and 14 more in overtime, as they closed regulation on a 10-3 run — including Miami’s final six points in the last 30 seconds from true freshman Rion Brown — to send it into the extra period.

Faces in the Crowd
Among those in attendance tonight were President Donna Shalala, Miami Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt, Jack McClinton and head women’s tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews.