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Miami Wins on Rodriguez's Last-Second Tip, 65-63

Photo credit - JC Ridley

Pittsburgh6365No. 12/11 Miami

GAME LINKS
Box Score Highlights
Season Stats Condensed Game
ACC Stats Full Broadcast
Radio Highlights 
POSTGAME REACTION
Jim Larrañaga
Angel Rodriguez & Tonye Jekiri
Jamie Dixon
SCORE BY HALF
Team 1 2 F
PITT 33 30 63
MIAMI 29 36 65
TEAM STATS
 
FGs 25-57 23-51
3FGs 3-13 6-20
Free Throws 10-10 13-18
Rebounds 35 29
Blocks 3 3
Steals

5

6
Assists 11 12
Turnovers 9 9
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
  POINTS     REBOUNDS   
Young / Luther 12   Luther 7
Rodriguez 17   Jekiri 10
  ASSISTS     BLOCKS   
Robinson 4   Three Players 1
Rodriguez 8   Three Players 1
  3FG     STEALS  
Robinson 2-3   Jones 2
McClellan 2-5   Palmer 2
INFOGRAPHIC
Click here to enlarge

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Angel Rodriguez scored on an offensive rebound with 1.4 seconds left Tuesday, and the No. 12-ranked Miami Hurricanes edged Pittsburgh 65-63.

With the game tied, the Hurricanes missed two shots in the final 6 seconds and Pitt’s Ryan Luther batted the ball before Rodriguez charged into the lane and slapped it into the basket with his left hand.

That was the only offensive rebound of the game for the 5-foot-11 Rodriguez, who had 17 points and eight assists.

The Hurricanes (19-4, 8-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed by eight points in the first half but won for the sixth time in the past seven games. Pittsburgh (17-6, 6-5) has lost two straight for the first time this season.

Pitt overcame a 55-49 deficit and took its final lead at 58-57 on Sheldon Jeter’s fast-break dunk. Miami went ahead 63-58, but the Panthers tied it on James Robinson’s 3-pointer with 31 seconds left.

The Hurricanes then ran the clock down to 6 seconds. Sheldon McClellan missed a 3-pointer, and Davon Reed missed a follow before Rodriguez scored, and then raised his right fist in triumph as the crowd erupted.

Robinson missed a shot from midcourt at the final buzzer.

The Panthers’ Jamel Artis shot 2 for 10 and scored a season-low five points, 10.5 below his average. Luther had 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and Michael Young scored 12 points.

Seven-footer Tonye Jekiri played only 6 minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls but finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hurricanes, who shot 52 percent in the second half.

The Panthers led for most of the first half, and their largest margin was 27-19. McClellan drove the length of the court and sank a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to cut Pitt’s lead to 33-29.

That marked the start of an 18-4 run by the Hurricanes. Jekiri made three consecutive Miami baskets, hustled for the rebound that set up a 3-pointer and even forced a turnover at midcourt that led to another score.

When the flurry ended, the Hurricanes led 44-37.

TIP-INS

Pitt: The Panthers fell to 0-4 against ranked teams. … They are 17-0 when scoring at least 70 points and 0-6 in other games.

Miami: The Hurricanes’ 12 consecutive weeks in the rankings ties the school record set in 2001-02.

SITTING OUT

Hurricanes reserve Ivan Cruz Uceda didn’t dress because he was ill.

UP NEXT

Pittsburgh: is at No. 9 North Carolina on Sunday, the Panthers’ third consecutive game against a ranked team.

Miami: is at Florida State on Sunday.

Team Notes
– Miami defeated Pittsburgh 65-63 to give the Hurricanes their third straight win.
– The Hurricanes are now 8-3 in ACC play and 19-4 overall.
– Miami is now 1-1 in games decided by three points-or-less.
– The game saw eight ties and featured nine lead changes.
– Head coach Jim Larrañaga improved to 580-387 overall in his 32nd season as a head coach. He is 110-53 in his fifth season at the University of Miami, with a 49-32 mark in ACC play.
– Miami moved to 18-18 all-time against Pittsburgh, including a 12-7 mark at home against Pittsburgh. Miami is now 2-1 against Pittsburgh under Coach L.
– Miami trailed Pittsburgh 33-29 at half. The Hurricanes’ first half deficit marked just the sixth time all season in which they have trailed at the half. Miami improved to 3-3 when trailing at the half.
– The Hurricanes outscored Pittsburgh 36-30 in the second half to earn the win. The Panthers suffered their first loss when leading at the half.
– Miami improved to 13-3 with the starting lineup of Angel Rodriguez, Sheldon McClellan, Davon Read, Kamari Murphy and Tonye Jekiri.
– The Hurricanes improved to 12-2 with four or more Canes in double figures.
– Miami outscored Pittsburgh 34-30 in points in the paint.

Individual Notes
– Hurricane guard Angel Rodriguez scored a game-high 17 points and dished out a game-high eight assists.
– Rodriguez has dished out five-or-more assists in each of the past five games.
– Rodriguez’s eight assists are his second-highest total in a game this season. Rodriguez has recorded at least one assist in every game this season.
– Miami senior Sheldon McClellan posted his 20th double-digit point total of the season with 10 points. It was his 12th straight game with double-digit points.
– Junior Davon Reed’s 12 points marked his eighth double-digit point total in his last 12 games.
– Senior Tonye Jekiri netted 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor he also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
– Jekiri’s double-double was his fourth of the season.
– Freshman Ebuka Izundu scored his first bucket in an ACC game and finished the night with two points. He also had one block. The game was just his second appearance in a league contest, along with his one minute at Clemson.
– Redshirt junior Kamari Murphy tied an ACC career high in rebounds with eight boards.

 

Jim Larrañaga – Miami Head Coach
Postgame Press Conference: Pittsburgh (Feb. 9, 2016)

Opening Statement..
“To say that I was concerned at halftime would be a major understatement. We didn’t defend them the way we really wanted to in the first half, but I thought our second-half defense was terrific. We were outrebounded 20-12 in the first half, but we came back and rebounded much better in the second half. That’s a terrific Pittsburgh team. I thought it was a great game. We needed a little bit of luck at the end, and Angel Rodriguez provided it. That tip-in – left-handed, by the way – was amazing.”

On what he was thinking on the last sequence of the game, which culminated in Angel’s tip-in…
“I have no idea what happened. I had one timeout and I could have called it, and maybe I should have, but they would have switched their defense – which they did any way because we were holding onto it. Their coach stood up and yelled, ‘go to the zone.’ They did, and Angel immediately found Sheldon [McClellan] – that was a wide open shot. That really would have been a perfect ending. But he missed it, and there was a mad scramble, and I don’t know why in the world Angel went to the offensive boards, because point guards are not really supposed to do that. But he didn’t listen to me throughout the game anyway, so I’m glad he didn’t listen at the end [laughter]. That was a major league play for the smallest guy on the floor to go over everybody, time it right and just tip it in.”

On what he was thinking when Angel’s tip-in went in…
“I said, ‘Oh, we might win!’ [laughter] But they called a timeout with 1.4 seconds [left], and the key then was…we had a foul to give, but even if they called a foul on Angel at the end, which their coach was looking for, they would have just had to take it out of the side. He wasn’t shooting. But our objective was to not let them throw the ball the length of the court, so we put Davon [Reed] and Sheldon on their two best shooters down the floor, Tonye [Jekiri] in the middle, and Kamari Murphy on the ball jumping to try to make the long pass very difficult, which he did. They threw it to James Robinson, and Angel guarded him very well.”

On if there was an emphasis on speeding up the pace of play in the second half…
“The emphasis was on playing a whole lot harder.”

Miami senior Angel Rodriguez
On the final play and his game-winning tip-in…
“At first, once they made the three…I was hoping Coach didn’t call a timeout. The game was tied and I was giving him the hand, like, ‘please, just let us play it.’ He did. He trusted us. They went in a zone, from man to zone quickly, but they seemed to lose Sheldon [McClellan]. I wanted to throw it as soon as I saw him, but it would have been too early. They probably would have had a chance to score if he happened to miss. I waited, he still was open, and I gave it to him. I thought that was in for sure, given the fact that he’s such a great shooter. When I gave it to him, I still went for the rebound because I there was only like two seconds left. I know my job is to get back, like coach says, but there was not a whole lot of time, and I figured I might as well take a gamble, and it ended up paying off.

On if the last play was instincts taking over, and his celebration after the shot…
“Yeah. It really was. It happened so fast, that I just went for it.”
“At first, in the game it seemed like a couple of seconds, but it took me a bit to sink in: ‘Did I actually tip that in?’ Even though I knew I did it, it was just shocking. I told myself, ‘Yes you did…celebrate.’ I started going crazy. I even forgot I had the ball in my hands, holding it. Just a lot going on.”

On the message from the coaching staff at halftime, specifically Coach L…
“He wasn’t happy with our energy, he wasn’t happy with our effort. We spoke about it in the locker room right before Coach said it, we said, ‘We have to pick it up.’ I think for myself, at first, I was trying to get a feel for the refs. I’ve been in foul trouble lately, and I didn’t want that to happen today. In a way, it slowed me down – I wasn’t being as physical, I shouldn’t require as much help from our big guys. But in the locker room, Coach L took the ball and you could tell he meant it. He really wanted us to be passionate about it, he really wanted us to play with energy. I think it ended up working, because it got me going, it got everybody going, screaming. When I saw everybody screaming, I knew we were going to come out [in the second half] with a lot of energy.”

Miami senior Tonye Jekiri
On what he was thinking when Angel Rodriguez’ shot went in…
“I felt like he really saved us, because of the two free throws I missed. I felt like if I had made [them], we had great defense before they knocked down the three to tie the game. We had great defense. Even while I was rotating, I could see everybody moving, picking up their man, and it ended up that the guy made the shot with a hand in his face. I almost dropped my head. I almost stopped playing. But they picked me up and said there’s still time left. When I looked up, I really saw that we had enough time. Coach didn’t call a timeout, and I knew we had one more timeout. He let us play. I didn’t want go to overtime…him tipping in the ball in, I felt like he just redeemed the whole team. We don’t want to lose at home. Guys have been saying in the locker room, ‘We can’t lose this game.’ Just an amazing win.”

On how aggressively he was playing in the second half despite picking up two first-half fouls…
“I really came out looking to be aggressive, because I didn’t want to come out and try to act like I have fouls, and that I don’t want to play tough or hard. Before we came out from the locker room, as Coach L did with the ball…that got me pumped up and fired up, the same as all our guys. I just came out trying to play aggressive on both ends, and not thinking about having two fouls or anything.
“I think playing aggressive, sometimes, it gives the refs less chance to call fouls on you, because when they see you playing that way from the start, they feel like that’s how he has been playing [the whole game]. They didn’t call it down there, so they won’t call it up here…it’s that way. Playing aggressive every time, it helps you as a player for fouls not to be called on you. If you want to play [aggressive only] once in a while, the referee will call [more] fouls on you.”

Jamie Dixon – Pittsburgh Head Coach

Opening Statement…
“Tough game. They got the break at the end, they got the rebound. It came down to rebounding, so give them credit. I was proud of how our guys played. We got some good performances out of a number of different guys. Again, I’m proud of our guys. [Miami is] a good team. We felt like we should have won the game, and we didn’t. We did some good things – outrebounded them, bothered them [on defense] – but at the end of the day, they outscored us from the free throw line, and that was the difference.”

On if he felt his team should have been up by a larger margin at halftime [33-29]…
“Obviously the play was one of those things where we didn’t get the break. The three didn’t go in, and theirs did. We had an open look and they got it. We know how big a play it was, obviously. Just one of those things. I don’t know what we could have done different.”

On how his team dictated the first half, and if it could have led to a bigger lead…
“We make the three and it’s a 10-point game, and [instead] it ends up being a four-point game when we come out at halftime. That would have been the difference there. To me, that was the biggest thing.
“But we did some good things, we held them to low percentage, some rebounds… I thought we gave up too many drives early in the man [defense]. We didn’t shoot it great. It would have been nice to make some of those shots. I thought we had good looks. Certainly disappointing to come out with the loss, but possibly we could have been ahead [by more]. It is what it is. We still had a four-point lead, it was our ball, and we just couldn’t get going in the second half. But we responded, and that’s what I told the guys – that I was proud of how we responded. We were down, we came back and we made plays, and were obviously in a very good position to win the game.”

On playing a 3-2 zone as opposed to a 2-3 zone, and what precipitated the change…
“We’ve been working on it for a while. It was something we wanted to use. It was good for us. At the end of the day, we didn’t get the rebound at the end, and that’s the problem.”