Furious Second Half Rally Falls Short, 70-63
|Points||Rodriguez – 15||Vasturia – 16|
|Rebounds||Jekiri – 11||Auguste – 9|
|Assists||5 tied – 1||Grant – 6|
|Blocks||None||2 tied – 2|
|Highlights||Condensed Replay||Game Replay|
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Steve Vasturia hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 6:13 left and No. 11 Notre Dame overcame a blown 20-point lead to hold off Miami 70-63 on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Vasturia’s 3 helped the Fighting Irish (27-5) survive a disastrous collapse in which the Hurricanes (21-12) came all the way back to take a two-point lead with 6 1/2 minutes left.
He finished with a team-high 16 points on a bizarre night for third-seeded Notre Dame. The Irish couldn’t miss and looked dominant in the first half only to do the exact opposite after the break.
Still, the Irish did just enough to hang on for their first tournament win after a first-day exit from last year’s debut season. They advance to the semifinals to face No. 2 Duke.
Angel Rodriguez scored 15 points to lead sixth-seeded Miami, which came so close to the kind of win the Hurricanes needed in Greensboro to help improve whatever chance they had of earning an NCAA Tournament bid.
Trailing by 18 at halftime, Miami ran off a 19-2 spurt to erase most of the deficit. Then Sheldon McClellan’s two free throws pushed them to a 51-49 lead with 6:30 left, only to see Vasturia bury the 3 from the left corner off a feed from Jerian Grant to take the lead right back.
Vasturia’s 3 started a 9-2 burst that reclaimed momentum. Then Vasturia came up with two key plays late with his team holding just a three-point lead, scoring on a long runout off an inbounds pass with 50.4 seconds left then stealing a pass from Davon Reed on the next possession.
Notre Dame shot 63 percent and went 8 for 13 from 3-point range in the first half to take its 43-25 lead at the break, but missed its first 10 shots of the second half and didn’t manage its first basket until 12 minutes in.
Had Miami been able to hang on to its slim lead, it would’ve been the second-biggest halftime deficit overcome to win at the tournament, and the biggest since Maryland rallied from 19 down to beat North Carolina State in the 2004 semifinals.
* Miami’s loss to Notre Dame was its seventh loss to an RPI Top 25 team this season. Six of those losses were by single digits.
* Miami’s setback against Notre Dame dropped the Hurricanes record to 12-10 all-time in the ACC Tournament.
* Miami nearly completed the second-largest comeback in ACC Tournament history after it trailed by 18 points at the break.
* Miami opened the second half with a 22-4 run to tie the game at 47 apiece with 8:56 to go in the game.
* Notre Dame did not score a second half field goal until the 8:04 mark of the final 20 minutes.
* Miami trailed 43-25 at the half. The Hurricanes fell to 7-8 when trailing at the half this season.
* Miami opened the game with Tonye Jekiri, James Palmer, Sheldon McClellan, Davon Reed and Manu Lecomte.
* Miami is 2-1 with this starting five.
* This is the third time this season Miami has started a game with these five players.
* This is just the fifth game this season in which Angel Rodriguez did not start.
* The Hurricanes committed just eight turnovers on the night. Miami fell to 18-12 when committing 15-or-less turnovers this season.
* Miami held a 33-31 rebounding advantage. The Hurricanes dropped to 13-2 this season when outrebounding their opponent.
* Junior center Tonye Jekiri scored the Hurricanes’ first basket at the 18:59 of the first half.
* Miami had four-or-more players score in double figures for the 10th time this season.
* Miami fell to 8-10 all-time against Notre Dame with the loss.
* The Hurricanes fell to 1-1 all-time against Notre Dame in games held on neutral courts.
* Head coach Jim Larrañaga dropped to 1-3 all-time against Notre Dame.
* Redshirt junior Sheldon McClellan scored in double figures for the 27th time this season.
* He also has scored in double figures in 10 of the Hurricanes’ last 11 games.
* Junior Tonye Jekiri collected his 11th double-double on the year after he finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
* Redshirt junior Angel Rodriguez scored a game-high 15 points. Rodriguez has scored in double figures 18 times this season.
Head Coach Jim Larrañaga
* Head coach Jim Larrañaga fell to 557-382 overall in his 31st season as a head coach.
* He is 87-48 in his fourth season at the University of Miami.