The U Stomps The No. 16 Utes
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Sheldon McClellan scored 27 points to help Miami roll past No. 16 Utah 90-66 on Friday night in the Puerto Rico Tipoff, sending the Hurricanes on to the championship round with their second straight lopsided win.
Tonye Jekiri added 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Hurricanes (4-0), who took control early and never let the Utes make a serious push to climb back in it. Miami shot 53 percent and turned away every spurt from Utah in another dominant showing in San Juan.
Jordan Loveridge scored 18 points for Utah (3-1), which had its own good-shooting performance and even managed to slow Miami’s torrid shooting after halftime. But the Hurricanes helped themselves with a 23-4 edge in points off turnovers, converting time and time again to earn a date with No. 22 Butler in the Tipoff final.
The Hurricanes put the Utes away with a 9-0 burst — ending with a 3-pointer and a pitch-ahead layup from McClellan off a turnover — for a 75-55 lead with 5:17 left.
Utah found no real way to slow the Hurricanes, who shot 59 percent in the opening half and got a 3-pointer from James Palmer just before halftime for a 46-32 lead at the break. And the frustration finally boiled over for coach Larry Krystkowiak, who picked up a quick technical foul after springing up to protest a no-call on a driving miss from Jakob Poeltl with 13:32 left.
It was quite the encore for a team that started its stay in Puerto Rico by shooting 57 percent and flirting with the Tipoff’s scoring record in Thursday night’s 105-79 win against Mississippi State.
Utah had to fight through the second half to get through Thursday’s opener against Texas Tech, and just couldn’t keep up with the Hurricanes. The Utes shot 50 percent and made eight 3-pointers, but they committed 16 turnovers and couldn’t keep Jekiri and the Hurricanes off the boards.
Series and Miscellaneous Notes
-Miami’s win over No. 16 Utah gave the Hurricanes a berth in Sunday night’s championship game against No. 22 Butler.
-The Hurricanes improved to 9-20 against ranked opponents under head coach Jim Larrañaga. Entering tonight’s game, ranked teams were 55-3 against unranked teams so far this season (AP).
-Miami’s 24-point win over Utah was its largest win in school history over a ranked opponent away from home. It is also the third-largest in Miami history, trailing 27 points over Duke in 2013 and 27 points vs. Wake Forest in 2009.
-Miami’s win over No. 16 Utah was its first over a ranked opponent since its win at No. 4 Duke on Jan. 13, 2015.
– Three Hurricanes in the last 20 years have had 20 points and 12 rebounds against a ranked opponent: Tim James, Reggie Johnson and Tonye Jekiri. (AP)
-The Hurricanes’ matchup with Utah was their first against Utah since Jan. 3, 1966. With the win over Utah, Miami improved to 2-0 all-time against the Utes.
-Miami improved to 15-9 in neutral site games under head coach Jim Larrañaga.
-Miami has scored 86 points-or-more in all four of its games this season.
-The Hurricanes’ last two victories have come by a combined total of 50 points.
-Miami never trailed during the game.
-Miami’s bench outscored Utah’s bench 23-18.
-The Hurricanes committed a season-low seven turnovers, while Miami forced Utah into a season-high 16 miscues.
-Miami outscored Utah 23-4 in points off turnovers.
-Miami had three players score in double figures.
-The Hurricanes outrebounded the Utes 34-25. Miami has outrebounded its opponent in three of its four games this season.
-Redshirt senior Sheldon McClellan scored a season high with 27 points, connecting on 10-of-12 from the field. McClellan has now scored 16-or-more points in all four games this season.
-Senior Tonye Jekiri scored a career-high 20 points and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season.
-Prior to tonight’s game, no Miami player had surpassed 20 points.
-The last time two Miami players scored 20-or-more points was in the Hurricanes’ victory at Duke (1/13/15).
-Jekiri surpassed 10 rebounds for the third time this season.
-Redshirt senior Angel Rodriguez totaled a season-high three steals. His three steals were more than Utah’s entire team combined.
-Jekiri and Rodriguez were a perfect 9-for-9 from the field in the first half.
Coach L Notes
-Jim Larrañaga improved to 565-383 all-time as a head coach and moved to 95-49 at Miami.
-This is the third time in Larrañaga’s five-year career at Miami in which the Hurricanes have opened the year 4-0.
-Miami improved to 23-6 under Larrañaga in the month of November.