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Amp Energy: Lawence Powers Canes to 79-70 Win

Photo credit - JC Ridley

Notre Dame7079No. 17/15 Miami

GAME LINKS
Box Score Highlights
Season Stats Condensed Game
ACC Stats Full Broadcast
POSTGAME REACTION
Jim Larrañaga
Angel Rodriguez & Anthony Lawrence
Mike Brey
SCORE BY HALF
Team 1 2 F
NOTRE DAME 33 37 70
MIAMI 45 34 79
TEAM STATS
 
FGs 31-67 31-55
3FGs 4-16 6-16
Free Throws 4-8 11-14
Rebounds 35 30
Blocks 5 3
Steals

5

6
Assists 14 12
Turnovers 10 8
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
  POINTS     REBOUNDS   
Colson 17   August 9
Lawrence 18   Jekiri 12
  ASSISTS     BLOCKS   
Jackson 7   Beachem / August 2
Rodriguez 5   Lawrence 2
  3FG     STEALS  
Vasturia 1-1   Jackson 2
Lawrence 4-4   Reed 2
INFOGRAPHIC
Click here to enlarge

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Anthony Lawrence Jr.’s breakout game for Miami caught Notre Dame off guard.

It probably caught the Hurricanes a bit by surprise as well.

The freshman – who had a total of six points in the last six weeks and was a bit of an afterthought in the Hurricanes’ rotation – needed only six shot attempts to score a season-high 18 off the bench, and No. 17 Miami beat Notre Dame 79-70 on Wednesday night for its ninth consecutive home win.

 “Often times when you go to the bench you have a dropoff,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “We don’t.”

Angel Rodriguez, Ja’Quan Newton and Sheldon McClellan had 12 points apiece for the Hurricanes (17-4, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Miami shot 63 percent in the first half and finished at 56 percent for the game.

Bonzie Colson scored 17 points for Notre Dame (15-7, 6-4). V.J. Beachem had 14 points and Zach Auguste had all 12 of his in the second half for the Fighting Irish.

“Their maturity, they’ve got men,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “And they’re playing like it.”
True, the Hurricanes are loaded with experience.

And that made Lawrence’s breakout night all the more surprising.

His previous best was 13 points at Nebraska on Dec. 1 and to say he was a non-factor in ACC games this season would be an understatement. In seven league-game appearances before Wednesday, Lawrence was 1 for 8 from the field for a total of four points in 39 minutes. But in this one, he was 5 for 6 from the field, including 4 for 4 from 3-point range.

“He really hurt us,” Brey said. “It’s one of those things, you say maybe you can live with him getting some looks and you worry about the other guys. Then he jumps up and really hurts you. It’s great when you’re a young guy playing with men, the older guys.”

Meanwhile, Notre Dame simply never got going.

Foul trouble limited Auguste, the Irish’s leading rebounder, to 6 first-half minutes and the Hurricanes took full advantage. Auguste _ who came in averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds, but was limited to no points and one board in the first 20 minutes on Wednesday _ picked up his second and went to the bench for the rest of the half.

When he left, Miami’s lead was 18-17.

When he came back to start the second half, Miami’s lead was 45-33. The Hurricanes went on a 13-4 run to close the half, and the Irish never got within single digits again until the final seconds.
“We just have to find a way to stop teams from making runs,” Beachem said. “Keep it close and keep it within striking distance. It starts defensively because I know we can score.”

Miami eventually pushed the lead out to 20 points, after McClellan’s 3-pointer with 8:06 left put the Hurricanes up 65-45.

TIP-INS
Notre Dame: The Irish fell to 4-6 in games played at road or neutral sites this season. They were 15-4 in such games last season. … Something to watch going into Saturday’s game against No. 2 North Carolina _ Notre Dame hasn’t lost two straight games since the end of the 2013-14 season, going 12-0 in the game immediately following a defeat.

Miami: The Hurricanes improved to 14-1 this season when reaching at least 70 points. … Tonye Jekiri had a game-high 12 rebounds and Kamari Murphy had 11 points. … Miami goes to Notre Dame on March 2.

NEWTON’S CHOICE
Newton was booed by the home fans midway through the second half, with the Hurricanes leading 60-43, during a timeout no less.
The reason? In an appearance on the video screens over the court, Newton revealed that his favorite athlete is LeBron James _ a predictably unpopular choice in Miami. Shortly after play resumed, Newton scored and cheers went his way again.

BIG FAN
Ordinarily, fans aren’t allowed to go over to the ESPN personalities during a timeout and greet them. Ordinarily, those fans aren’t 7-foot, 450-pound men either. “The Big Show” _ real name Paul Wight _ of WWE fame, wearing a Hurricanes polo shirt, was escorted onto the court late in the game to greet ESPN broadcasters Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Jeff Van Gundy.

UP NEXT
Notre Dame: Hosts No. 2 North Carolina on Saturday.
Miami: Visits Georgia Tech on Sunday.

.

Miami 79, Notre Dame 70 – Postgame Notes
Team Notes
– Miami scored 75-or-more points for the 14th time this season.
– Miami is now 9-10 in the all-time series against Notre Dame, which dates back to the 1985-86 season. The Canes are now 5-4 at home against the Fighting Irish.
– Miami led 45-33 at the half. The Hurricanes are now 15-1 when leading at the half.
– Head coach Jim Larrañaga has a 578-387 overall record in his 32nd season as a head coach. He is 108-53 in his fifth season at the University of Miami, with a 47-32 mark in ACC play.
– Miami connected at a 79 percent clip from the free throw line. Miami has now shot 70 percent-or-better from the charity stripe in 18 games this season. The Hurricanes are 15-3 in those contests.
-The Hurricanes had five players score in double figures for the first time since Miami’s 95-49 win over La Salle. Tonight’s game also marked the first time since Miami’s matchup against Mississippi State in which five players scored 11-or-more.
-Miami improved to 10-2 when having four-or-more players score in double figures and 51-11 under Coach L.
-Miami improved to 11-3 with the starting lineup of Angel Rodriguez, Sheldon McClellan, Davon Reed, Kamari Murphy and Tonye Jekiri.
-The Hurricanes held a 30-24 advantage in bench points.

Individual Notes
– Freshman guard Anthony Lawrence, Jr. scored a game and career-high 18 points. His 18-point effort came in just 21 minutes of play.
– Redshirt senior guard Sheldon McClellan also chipped in with 12 points. McClellan has scored in double figures in nine-straight games.
– Angel Rodriguez has scored in double digits in 15 games, scoring 12 points against Notre Dame.
– Redshirt junior Kamari Murphy tied a season-high with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
– Ja’Quan Newton tallied 12 points and has scored double-digit points in 17 games after only scoring 10+ in four games as a rookie.
– With two handouts against Notre Dame, Newton has at least two assists in 15 games.
– Senior center Tonye Jekiri pulled down 12 rebounds. Jekiri has pulled down 10-or-more rebounds in 14 games this season.

 

Jim Larrañaga – Postgame Press Conference
Vs. Notre Dame (Feb. 3, 2016)

Opening Statement…
“Watching Notre Dame on tape, watching their games this season, you have to be really, really impressed with their ability to score the ball. Tonight, they were all over the glass. They had 17 offensive rebounds, which becomes a major concern for me, because that’s two games in a row where we’ve given up a lot of second shots. But we shot the ball, moved the ball, shared the ball, did everything offensively that we wanted to do, and it worked very effectively. I’m very, very proud of Anthony Lawrence, Jr. We call him ‘Amp.’ Amp had gone through a period where he was not playing at all, not playing much, yet in the last few practices, he was terrific. We actually played him at the point of our scout team to simulate [Notre Dame’s] Demetrius Jackson, and he did one heck of an imitation, to the point where I felt like if he could handle the ball like that against Angel Rodriguez, he gives us another weapon offensively that we can really use. [It’s] what I call a transporter, where he can take the ball from point A to point B either by passing it or dribbling it. He did a great job tonight – he made some threes. He was our leading scorer. We’re going to need him to rebound better so that we can play him more. Overall, it was a great team effort and we’re very, very happy to come away with a victory.”

On what went into the decision to play Anthony Lawrence Jr., who had played sparingly of late…
“It had to do with Amp’s practicing. It didn’t have to do with anybody else. I was thinking to myself, ‘I’m going to use Ivan [Cruz Uceda] to sub for Tonye [Jekiri], and I’m going to try Amp. I mean try Amp. He hadn’t played in a long time – a lot of times you’re a little rusty, maybe a little uncomfortable. And the other guys haven’t played with you a lot, so [they think], ‘why are you putting him in?’ It was a little bit of a gamble.

“Early in the game, I wanted to do it. He was so good in practice, that I felt like his spirits are very, very good. There was a time when his spirits were down. And I understand. He’s a freshman, maybe not getting as much playing time as he thought he was going to at that time in the season. But now, he gives us another dimension, and he’s going to be rewarded for that, as long as he plays as hard as he does and as long as he’ll rebound. He’s not playing point guard for us. We have two really good point guards in Angel [Rodriguez] and Ja’Quan [Newton]. We need him at power forward, where he is very good against a 4-man…like the first play he made in the she second half, he drove baseline and laid it right in. Those make it hard for that defender who’s not used to playing someone who can straight line drive as well as he can.”

On how important the last three minutes of the first half were…

“I thought we were playing really well throughout the half. We actually played more zone tonight than we have. At several timeouts, I used the zone for six points. If we give up six, now it’s time to get out. At the first timeout, I asked how many we had given up – only two. Next time out – only given up four. So we stuck with it a little longer tonight. When we played NC State, first two possessions they nailed threes and we were out of it. It’s all about performance, about things working. If something works, you stick with it. If it doesn’t work, find something that will work.”

 

Miami Player Quotes

Anthony Lawrence Jr.

On how he was feeling shooting the ball against Notre Dame…
“I’ve been playing well all week in practice. Once I saw the first one go down, I had the confidence already, so I just kept shooting. My teammates kept finding me in open spots, and I was just knocking down the shots.”

On if he noticed the Notre Dame defense sagging off of him…
“I didn’t notice that. I was just playing, running the offense and playing defense.”

On if he got discouraged by his lack of minutes early in conference play…
“I didn’t get discouraged at all, because Coach L told me before the beginning of the season, ‘you’re going to have to be patient with me.’ I didn’t get discouraged at all. I knew my time was going to come, and I was going to play well.”


Angel Rodriguez

On the performance of Anthony Lawrence Jr…
“That’s great. The thing I like about him is, whether he plays or not, you’ll never see a difference in his body language or the way he carries himself, which to me is a good thing. It seems like if he’s doing good, great. If things are not going so well, he never gets down on himself. Like you guys said, he hasn’t been playing as much, and he just proved it. Coach gave him the opportunity and he was ready to perform.”

On the practice battles against Lawrence Jr, who mimicked Notre Dame’s Demetrius Jackson…
“You should ask him how hard I went after him [laughter]. It’s always good battling with him.”

On how important it was to beat Notre Dame after losing to NC State…
“I always say every game is important. Every game really matters. More than anything, I always say we can’t let one loss become two. I thought we did a great job of coming out with a lot of energy and with the right mindset. As you can see, we didn’t let one less become two. Hopefully now we let one win become two.”

 

Mike Brey – Postgame Press Conference
Miami (Feb. 3, 2016)

Opening Statement…
“I think their maturity and age kind of showed tonight. We just couldn’t get enough on the defensive end to make it interesting. I think you have to give them credit. I’m disappointed we couldn’t get in a stance a little better and keep them out of the lane…you have to give credit to Miami. I thought they played great.”

On what his team did defensively in an effort to slow Miami down…
“We played a little zone. Zone helped us at times. They drove, they even drove our zone a couple of times. They got into the lane, and we continually got beat off the dribble. We prepared for it. We knew it was coming. But I think, again, the physicality and the seniority of the Miami group was a little hard for us to deal with tonight. I think they’re a really confident team that has played together for a while, obviously.”

On the play of Miami freshman Anthony Lawrence, who had a career-high 18 points…
“He was fabulous. He really hurt us. It’s one of those things where maybe you can live with him getting some looks and you’re worried about the other guys, and he jumps up and really hurts you. He got them so confident in the first half. I thought he was really good. It’s great when you’re a young guy playing with men. Older guys, they really help you. I think he has a really nice situation, playing with such older seniors and experienced guys .They make it easy on him. But he delivered tonight.”

On if his team ‘played young’ tonight, as opposed to playing more maturely…
“I thought we were young tonight. We have another old team coming at us on Saturday. I thought we were a little young tonight. Maybe we can grow up quickly here before the Tar Heels come to town. Their maturity…they’ve got men and they’re playing like it.”