Awesome, Baby! @CanesHoops Beats FSU, 72-59
Florida State5972No. 12/11 Miami
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Sheldon McClellan scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half, and No. 12 Miami beat Florida State 72-59 on Saturday night.
Ja’Quan Newton had 13 points for the Hurricanes (13-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won seven in a row. Davon Reed added 12 points.
Miami never trailed.
Florida State (10-5, 0-3) has lost three games in a row, all in the ACC.
Reed went 3 for 3 from 3-point range to help Miami to a 32-24 halftime lead. He went 0 for 8 from beyond the arc in his three previous games,
McClellan missed all four of his field-goal attempts in the first half, and then took over. He went 7 for 7 in the second half, including two 3s.
Miami center Tonye Jekiri had eight points, 10 rebounds and perhaps the play of the game on a dunk with 14:49 left in the first half.
Jekiri, a 7-foot senior, grabbed a rebound and quickly dribbled to the front court, where he faced pressure from Florida State guard Devon Bookert. Instead of waiting for a teammate, Jekiri turned the corner and went in for a two-handed slam.
Florida State came in with some impressive performers, including the top two freshmen scorers in the ACC, Dwayne Bacon (17.2) and Malik Beasley (17.0), and the league’s assists leader, Xavier Rathan-Mayes (5.7).
But they were all held in check against Miami. Beasley had 13 points, Bacon finished with 10 points, and Rathan-Mayes had four assists.
-In six-straight games, Miami has held its opponents to less than 32 percent shooting from long range, a 23.6 percent mark in that timeframe. In the first seven games, Miami averaged 41.4 percent 3-point defense. Opponents shot better than 32 percent from three in six of the first seven games.
-Miami sold out the season ticket allotment for the BankUnited Center for the season, and the Canes’ game against Florida State was the second full-packed house, with 7,972 fans in attendance. The other complete sellout was against Florida on Dec. 8.
-Miami is 34-42 in the all-time series against Florida State. The Canes are 27-12 at home against the Seminoles, 7-28 on the road and 0-2 at neutral sites.
– Since joining the ACC in 2004-05, Miami has played back-to-back league home games 24 times, with the Canes winning both games seven times. In 2015-16, Miami has defeated Syracuse and Florida State back-to-back.
-In Miami’s 13 victories, the Canes have led for all but 43 minutes and 22 seconds combined. Miami hasn’t trailed in five games – against Utah, Butler, Charlotte, La Salle and Florida State.
-Miami is 12-0 this season in games decided by 11-or-more points, and Coach L is 62-17 all-time at Miami in games decided by more than 10 points.
-Sheldon McClellan had 20 second-half points and finished with 21 for the game. He was 7-7 from the field in the second half, tying the best field goal percentage in a half since 2004-05, when Reggie Johnson was 7-7 in the second half against Duke in January 2011. McClellan has scored 20+ points in four outings, including two-straight, and 14+ points in 11 games.
-Tonye Jekiri has pulled down at least 10 rebounds in nine games, including five games with 12-or-more. He was two points from his fourth double-double of the season.
-Davon Reed was 3-of-3 from long range in the first half, on his way to 12 total points.
-Ja’Quan Newton tallied 13 points against FSU, now scoring double-digit points in 12 games after only scoring 10+ in four games as a rookie.
-Kamari Murphy grabbed six rebounds against FSU and has at least five rebounds in the past nine outings.
-Davon Reed pulled down four boards against the Seminoles and has grabbed at least three rebounds in every game but vs. Charleston.
-Ja’Quan Newton has at least two assists in 11 games, including eight-straight after recording four against Florida State.
-Ivan Cruz Uceda connected on one shot from long range, and has knocked down at least one 3-pointer in every game except two, at Nebraska and vs. Florida.
-With one steal against FSU, McClellan has a steal in every game but two (vs. Charlotte and Princeton).
-Head coach Jim Larrañaga has a 574-384 overall record in his 32nd season as a head coach. He is 104-50 in his fifth season at the University of Miami, with a 43-29 mark in ACC play.
-Reed has hit three-or-more free throws in every game but three (vs. Utah, Florida, Syracuse).
Coach Jim Larrañaga Quotes
Postgame Press Conference – Florida State – January 9, 2016
“The game was a little bit different than I expected. I expected the game to be much more high-scoring. I told the team the first one to 80 [points] would win. I thought our defense was very, very good and it slowed them down. They weren’t able to get on any significant runs where they ran off 12 or 14 straight [points]. They are a very explosive team. I thought our individual and team defense was very effective in both halves.
“Once Sheldon McClellan got going in the second half, we just tried to keep getting the ball to him…he had 20 [points] in the second half, and he did it all kinds of ways – jump-shots, he hit a couple of threes, layups, steals. He was outstanding. The defense overall was very good. Ja’Quan Newton had a terrific game again – 13 points and four assists. And how about Tonye’s [Jekiri] coast-to-coast dunk?”
On the coast-to-coast dunk from senior center Tonye Jekiri…
“We work a lot on our big guys handling the ball. I’ve never seen him do that, even in practice where he gets rebounds and starts out. Normally he gives it up right away, but when he saw the open court, he just kept going. It was [Devon] Bookert, the guard, who challenged him at midcourt. Once he got by him, it was clear sailing to the basket, and the crowd went crazy. That was very, very exciting.”
On Jeriri’s Eurostep move before dunking the basketball…
“We’ve been working on all those kind of layups for the whole year, really.It’s not something big guys can do, because usually the defense is back, and you’re usually not only negotiating one defender, but you’re negotiating a team of defenders.
On senior Sheldon McClellan’s second-half performance, and if he said anything to him at halftime…
“I thought he had some great looks in the first half, they just didn’t go down for him. He just needed to keep being himself, which he was. He was 0-for-4 in the first half, but every one of those was a good shot. He just missed a couple. In the second half, he just made his first, had a beautiful driving layup, and then once he got it going, it was nonstop. He was red-hot the whole half.”
On the importance of the win, played in front of a sellout crowd against an in-state rival…
“The crowd was great and they’ve been great. It’s nice to have sellout crowds every night. But it’s just one game. We’re 2-0 in the league, and I fully expect we could be top-10 this week because a couple of teams lost. We have a very, very tough opponent on their home court. I don’t know what their home court winning streak is, but Virginia has been very, very hard to beat in Charlottesville. We have to go there and play a great game.”
Postgame Press Conference –Miami – January 9, 2016
“I think you guys need to be really proud of the team that Miami has. They were a tough out for us. I thought our kids gave a tremendous effort. The difference is that I thought their maturity showed. We had equal opportunities as them in the first half, and I think we missed 12 point-blank layups at the rim in the first half. We probably missed seven or eight more. But each time we gave them an open look, I think they took advantage of it. And I think we had the same opportunities on the other end, and we faltered.
“There were several situations in the second half where we had four or maybe five stops in a row two or three times and we couldn’t capitalize on the other end. We would be taking high-percentage and they were knocking down some contested shots. You have to give them credit for that – they’re a good basketball team. They’re going to be hard to defend.
“[Ja’Quan] Newton I thought came in, gave them four assists and 13 points, and he was very difficult to keep in front of us. They have a great combination of players that give you different looks – great penetrators, guys who are great standing jump shooters and they attack the basket very well. They were either attacking the basket and kicking it or finishing at the rim, and that was a very difficult thing for us to defend. Even with that, I thought our kids played hard. I just thought that we got beat by a team that’s a little more mature, made better decision sand were a lot more consistent when they had offensive opportunities than we were.”
On what he was thinking when Miami senior Sheldon McClellan had only one point at halftime…
“To be very honest with you, I think they have five guys averaging double figures. That’s what great teams will do. They have different guys that can hurt you, and that’s who they are. Some of our better teams at Florida State have been when we’ve had older, more mature players. I think we won the ACC Championship when we had six seniors. This team is similar, in that they have, what, three fifth-year guys and a couple of some regular seniors? That’s a formula of guys who have been through the wars, they are confident, they don’t get overly excited. They just stick with the gameplan. What we’re doing is we have a lot of up-and-coming youngsters who are developing, and I think that lies where we faltered.
“I’m proud of our kids’ effort…we have been very consistent shooting from three the last two or three games. We had the same looks today and they just didn’t fall – that’s part of growing up, learning and developing. I’m hoping that we can learn from this game. that’s one thing good about the ACC – there’s another great team right around the corner. You don’t have a chance to have pity parties. You have to learn from your losses and turn around and be prepared for your next one. Hopefully we can learn from this. I congratulate Miami for having a great team and doing an outstanding job. I think they are a team that is going to have a chance to go deep in the NCAA Tournament. From my standpoint, we just have to go back and keep teaching our kids and keep developing, because I think this team has a chance to be pretty good.”
On what makes McClellan such a special player, and what he did against the Seminoles…
“He did the same thing that he normally does with just about everybody – he hit his open looks. When they have five guys at every position who are capable of hurting you, and they have great guys who are penetrating, you have to help with those guys getting to the basket. He had some good looks and he just made us pay. I think their system works. They have a very good system that fits who they are. He gives you a lot of freedom to take you off the dribble, and that plays into the strengths of this team. Now you have to guard the dribble-drive and guard the perimeter, and that’s difficult. That’s challenging. Our defensive system normally works against a lot of type of offensive systems, but when you have exceptional individual talent like they do – guys who do a really good job off the bounce and really good standing shooters – that’s a tough combination to defend.”