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Newton's Career-High 23 Leads UM to Victory

Newton's Career-High 23 Leads UM to Victory

Box Score Highlights
Season Stats Full Broadcast
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Jim Larrañaga Davon Reed
Jim Christian Bruce Brown 

CORAL GABLES, Fla.  – After a rough stretch on Tobacco Road, Miami returned home looking to start a new streak – and continue a long-running one.

Mission accomplished on both fronts, although it was far from easy.

The Hurricanes defeated Boston College 78-77 Wednesday night, improving to 13-6 overall, 3-4 in the ACC. The Eagles dropped to 9-12 overall, 2-6 in conference play.

It was the Hurricanes’ first game at Watsco Center in nearly two weeks, and the first since Notre Dame ended Miami’s 21-game home winning streak. And this new streak marked Miami’s 12th straight win over the Eagles, a run that dates all the way back to 2010.

Miami led by as many as 17 in the second half but had to fight off the Eagles in the final minutes. Guard Ja’Quan Newton paced the Hurricanes with 23 points, while backcourt mate Davon Reed added 17. Freshman guard Bruce Brown continued his strong all-around play with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Guard Jerome Robinson led Boston College with 27 points.

“I’m very pleased with the victory,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “You have to give a lot of credit to BC. We built up a big lead and they came roaring back. We’re very fortunate that we had one more point at the end than they did.”

Miami relied heavily on its five starters, who averaged more than 33 minutes each. The Hurricanes shot 50 percent from the field and hit 18 of 24 free throws, including some critical ones down the stretch. Miami outscored the Eagles in the paint 38-34 and won the rebounding battle 35-33. The Hurricanes have outrebounded all but four of their opponents this season.

The game was tight early until Miami went on a 21-8 run to build a 30-15 lead. But the Eagles scored the last seven points of the half to close the gap to 30-22. Miami held Boston College to 31 percent shooting in the opening stanza.

“You can’t have a 22-point half in this league and expect to win,” Eagles head coach Jim Christian said.

The Eagles closed to within four points early in the second half, but Miami stretched the lead to 11 with 11:47 left on two straight steals – the first punctuated by a thunderous Dewan Huell dunk and the second leading to a layup by Brown. The lead ballooned to 17 shortly thereafter.

But Boston College rallied late, cutting the lead to 72-69 with 54 seconds left. Newton hit four free throws to push the lead back to 76-70, but Robinson nailed a trey to cut the lead in half. Miami then turned the ball over on the inbounds, giving the Eagles a chance to tie with 6.4 seconds remaining.

The Hurricanes chose to foul. Guard Ky Bowman hit the first free throw and missed the second. Brown grabbed the rebound and drew a foul with 4.6 seconds left. He hit both free throws, enabling the crowd to exhale. Another Robinson three-pointer at the buzzer cut the final margin to a single point.

“We knew we needed to win, take care of home court and get back on the right track,” Brown said.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Hurricanes, who now welcome two consecutive Top 10 opponents to the Watsco Center in North Carolina and Florida State. The ninth-ranked Tar Heels visit Saturday at 1 p.m., while the Hurricanes host sixth-ranked Florida State next Wednesday night.

Postgame Notes

Miami’s starters against Boston College included Ja’Quan Newton, Bruce Brown, Davon Reed, Anthony Lawrence Jr. and Kamari Murphy.

This is just the third time this season Miami has started with this lineup. The Hurricanes improved to 2-1 on the year with this lineup.

Junior point guard Ja’Quan Newton recorded his fifth 20-point game of the season and the sixth of his career. The Philadelphia native scored a career-high 23 points, and shot a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.

Miami improved to 23-24 all-time against Boston College, and 12-11 when hosting the Eagles. Head Coach Jim Larrañaga is 10-0 at Miami against BC, and the Canes have won the last 12 matchups.

Miami has now won 22 of its last 23 games at the Watsco Center, with a 9-1 mark this season. In six seasons under Coach L, Miami is 72-21 overall at home and 33-14 in ACC action at the Watsco Center.

With six made 3-pointers this evening, the Hurricanes continued their stretch of hitting six-or-more shots from beyond the arc in every ACC game, after doing so in only eight of 12 non-conference outings.

Freshman guard Bruce Brown finished the evening with 12 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. Brown has grabbed at least four rebounds in 18 of 19 games and has at least two assists in 14 contests.

Sophomore guard Anthony Lawrence, Jr. recorded five rebounds and contributed with seven points, while freshman forward Dewan Huell added eight points for the Canes and pulled down three boards.

Senior forward Kamari Murphy finished the game with eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Senior guard Davon Reed scored 17 points against BC. He has scored in double digits 16 times this season, including 14 of the last 15 games. He also rejected three BC shots, tying his career-high, and dished out four assists.

Reed has hit at least one shot from long range in every game with multiple threes in 15 contests. He has multiple threes in 11 straight games. With two made from beyond the arc this evening, the New Jersey native has knocked down 35 shots from long range in the past 11 games.

Post Game Quotes

Jim Christian, Boston College Head Coach

On being in the game until the very end…
“Honestly, I thought that we lost the game in the first half offensively. They’re a good defensive team but in order to win in this league you have to score. You can’t have 22-point halves in this league. Like I told our team, I was unbelievably proud of their effort and on the road in this league, little things get you beat. For us tonight, it was points off live ball turn overs and some lack of execution things down the stretch. But effort-wise, this is good effort. We are going to play hard. That’s our team but we’ve got to learn and grow from this. I thought in the first half when we had opportunities to score the ball we didn’t score it. You can’t have a 22-point half in this league and expect to win games.”

On Robinson struggling in the first half…
“He just didn’t make shots. He had good shots but he just didn’t make shots. The second half he came alive a little bit but he just didn’t make jump shots. They’re going to take away the rim. They are really athletic, they are really long, and you’re going to have to hit little mid range shots and he didn’t hit them tonight.”

On final six seconds…
“We have a play where we set a weak side double and it goes over the top and the ball should be in the air. We didn’t hold the screen and we let the guy come through the middle on us there to catch and shoot play that we run.”

Miami Coach Jim Larrañaga

Opening statement
“I’m very pleased with the victory. We’ve been on the road for three straight games at Pittsburgh, at Wake Forest and at Duke. We had a very nice road win at Pitt and then struggled mightily in the second half at both Wake Forest and Duke. I thought today we played pretty hard and pretty well and we shot excellent free throws down the stretch. We made our last 13 free throws and that’s something we haven’t been doing. But you have to give a lot of credit to Boston College. We built up a nice lead and they came roaring back. They are an outstanding shooting team. They were seven for 13 in the second half from three, so we knew they were capable of doing that and very fortunate that we had one more point at the end than they did.”

On Ja’Quan Newton and Davon Reed…
“The plan is the same every day: For them to play great. Those are our two veteran players from last year’s Sweet 16 team, along with Kamari Murphy, they’re our only veterans. The other guys are very young, very inexperienced. I just love the way Bruce Brown has been able to step up and help us. I thought it was Dewan Huell’s best game defensively and then he also added eight points offensively. He only had three rebounds but he had three great help defense possessions where he really stopped them from getting the lay up because he rotated over and took the guy that was open. It doesn’t show up in the stat sheet, but all of the coaches on the sideline said he was playing really good defense.”

On the student section and surprise banner…
“That was great. That was a surprise to me. I didn’t know that. Well, I knew I had 600 wins because we celebrated after the Pittsburgh game and a lot of people asked me about it, but I didn’t know anything about the presentation or the jersey. They got me in the locker room a couple of minutes before it. They said, “Hey coach, you’re needed out on the floor.” And I thought “uh-oh we’ve got a problem.” And I walked out there and they told me it was to present me with the ball and the students were out there. The students were great, I love when the students are here. It creates such a fantastic atmosphere. It’s so different when they’re not here because there’s not that liveliness, that enthusiasm.”