Canes Fall 66-57 in Regular Season Finale
|Season Stats||Audio Highlights|
|ACC Stats||Full Broadcast|
|SCORE BY HALF|
|Reed||6||Brown / Huell||1|
|Bacon||2-8||Bacon / Walker||1|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 25 University of Miami men’s basketball team entered Saturday’s matchup against No. 15/17 Florida State looking to win its fourth of five games at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Senior guard Davon Reed opened his final regular season game drilling a shot from long range, as Miami (20-10, 10-8 ACC) took the early 5-3 lead.
In a back and forth opening period, Florida State (24-7, 12-6 ACC) looked to head into the locker room with a big lead, holding the 35-28 advantage with just under four minutes to play in the half.
Freshman guard DJ Vasiljevic calmed the hostile crowd by knocking down a wide-open three to pull the Canes back within four, before Brown hit a 3-pointer of his own with 1:13 remaining in the half.
FSU’s Braian Angola-Rodas closed out the half with a lay-up, as Miami entered the locker room trailing, 34-37.
The Canes struck first out of the break, as Reed knocked down a 3-pointer to even the score at 37 apiece.
Following Reed’s connection from long range, Miami missed ten of its next 11 shots from the field over a span of 10:42, before Reed knocked down his fourth three of the afternoon.
Brown followed it up with a three of his own to bring the Canes back within five, 51-46. However, the moment was short lived as Dwayne Bacon answered the three with a 3-pointer of his own as FSU jumped out to a lead it would not look back on.
Bacon led all scorers with 23 points, while Reed paced Miami with 22 points and six assists, to go along with six rebounds.
With the regular season complete, Miami will be the ninth seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament. The Hurricanes will have a first-round bye and then face No. 8 Syracuse Wednesday at noon, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
To keep up with the University of Miami men’s basketball team on social media, follow @CanesHoops on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Miami’s starters against the Seminoles: Ja’Quan Newton, Bruce Brown, Davon Reed, Anthony Lawrence and Kamari Murphy. Miami is now 3-3 with those players in the starting lineup.
Senior guard Davon Reed led the way for the Canes scoring 22 points, while also pulling down six boards and dishing out six assists.
Reed surpassed 20 points for the seventh time this season and the eighth time in his career. He has scored in double digits 25 times this season, including 22 of the last 26 games. He has grabbed five-plus rebounds in 15 games. Reed has hit at least one shot from long range in every game but one (vs. Duke), with multiple threes in 20 contests. He has multiple threes in 16 of the last 22 games and three-plus assists in 15 games.
With his 10 points this afternoon, freshman guard Bruce Brown has scored in double digits in nine of the last 14 outings, including his 30 points against UNC and 25 against Duke.
Senior forward Kamari Murphy led the way for the Canes on the glass, pulling down nine rebounds.
Miami shot 11-of-21 (52.4%) from the field, 5-8 (62.5%) from beyond the arc and 7-8 (87.5%) from the charity stripe in the opening half. The Canes defense held the Seminoles to shoot 14-of-31 (45.2%) from the field and 3-of-9 (33.3%) from 3-point range before heading into the locker room.
In the 79th meeting between the Hurricanes and Seminoles, today marked the first time both teams entered the game ranked in the AP top-25.
Miami is now 7-6 overall against Florida State in Coach Larrañaga’s six seasons at Miami, including a 3-3 mark at the Donald L. Tucker Center. In the all-time series, UM falls to 34-45 against the Seminoles and 8-29 on the road.
Miami Head Coach Jim Larrañaga
“Well when I looked at the stats at halftime, I looked at us – we were behind. That wasn’t a good sign. We came out in the second half, and we really came up empty. It wasn’t going to get it done against a team as good as Florida State, on the road and in their place. They did a really good job, I thought, and they played very well. There were fast break opportunities when we had a fast break and we didn’t score and then they would get a fast break and they did score so that made a major difference. When you lose by nine, that 17-7 is a big difference. We had 13 turnovers and they only had nine, so that was the game.”
How do you approach a game with so much on the line in regards to seeding’s? Do you think about future match ups ahead of time?
“You prepare for every game the same way. Whether it’s in January or February, you want to win the game and you put together a game plan that you think will work against that opponent not thinking about seeding, or anything like that, because it’s out of your hands – you have no control over that. But you do have control over how you prepare and how you play. I thought we did some good things but we made way too many mistakes against their zone.”
What are your thoughts on the tournament coming up?
“Well it looks like we’re going to play Syracuse so we’ll spend a good amount of time working against a zone. If that is the case, we just need to be ready to go at noon on Wednesday.”
Thoughts on returning home to New York?
“I grew up in New York, I haven’t lived in New York since I was 18 years old, but I still have family up there and I still love going back to the city. I go back several times a year but I think it’s just a new venue for the ACC Tournament. I think it’s an exciting venue to be in NYC, which is the mecca of sports media. There will be a lot of coverage for our conference and hopefully that will impact our recruiting for the future but I just want our players to go there with a great deal of confidence and belief in themselves so we can play to the best of our ability.”
Do you think there were commonalities in both games Miami and Florida State played against each other?
“Yeah, I think in the first half at our place we led by three, today we trailed by three — we played very well. I think our inability to score in transition, they’d have one guy back, and we’d have two or three guys on the fast break and we’d turn it over and miss a shot. Or they’d block it. That was the difference, then they’d score at the other end. We’d either have one guy back and they’d go two on one and dunk the ball or weigh it in on us and we’d foul them. So their transition defense was better than ours.”
How do you use the last few games to go forward in the post season? Is it more about what you did well or what you could do better?
“The very first thing is, in this league, if you judge yourself just on winning and losing then you’re probably missing the boat because when two really good teams play, someone loses. So, I’ll use Virginia as an example, they lost four in a row, and then they came back and won their last two in a very impressive fashion. We went through a period where we lost several games and then came back and won like 6 out of 8. A lot of times it’s just based on who you play and where you play them. Florida State is undefeated at home this season, nobody’s beaten them here. It would’ve been a great win for us but that’s an uphill climb to try and beat the Seminoles here in their home court especially this year. That’s true throughout the league. Your confidence has to come from how well you play, so when we show our guys tape, we show them all the good things they did. They have got to know – hey that works. Now we made a lot of mistakes today too, 13 turnovers and several of them in transition, we have got to show them that and say – hey we can’t make those kind of mistakes, those are more mental than they are physical. They get in a hurry.”
Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton
“It was obvious that Miami had a great game plan in the beginning of the game because they followed the script of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and some of the other teams who felt that the best way to play us is to have their big guys out on the floor and create driving lanes for their guys. I thought they did a great job in the first half. We had a hard time keeping them out of the paint, (Kamari) Murphy was very quick and moved around a lot, and they challenged Michael Ojo a little bit. It was “nip and tuck” type of game. The game was at a tempo better suited for them then us, and it was very difficult for us to get to their speed game because they were so careful with the ball. So we decided for the second half we would use a seldom U-zone to help protect the paint a little bit and I thought that really helped. I thought we pressed to get some time off the clock and it really worked well for us towards the end. Jarquez (Smith), and Dwayne (Bacon) both came up big tonight. It was a tough game tonight and we have to give Miami a lot of credit. We were very fortunate to come away with a victory. Our players really persevered and came together to take on the challenge of going undefeated at home, something that has not happened for a while. I’m very proud of these guys. I think that most impressive is that this team has continue to get better throughout the season.”
On Playing Zone in The Second Half…
“It was a little bit more effective that I had anticipated because Miami shoots the ball really well around the perimeter. I think it helped take some time off the clock, forced Miami to picked a second look, and took away the opportunity to drive past our players and get into the paint. They are very talented, quick, athletic, and we had a hard time keeping up with them when their players were driving to the basket.”
On Michael Ojo and Older Players Embracing the Fans…
“I am sure these guys have enjoined their careers here. Michael Ojo is one of the most popular players that I have ever known on any campus I have been at. Jarquez (Smith) and (Michael) Ojo have been amazing student-athletes, great citizens, they represented Florida State, their families, and the Seminoles nation very well. They are both going to get their degrees, and they embody the school spirit of what a student athlete is supposed to be. I am very proud of them, they came to Florida State as teenagers and leaving Florida State as young adults. I feel very good with what they are about to experience when they enter the real world, because they are respectful and humble. They leave this year but will always have the Seminole nation in their heart. I cannot say enough about how happy I am for them and for us to win the game, and give them amazing memories about their senior year.”
On Finishing Tied For Second in The ACC Standings…
“I think we are making progress but in order to break into that hierarchy of traditionally rich programs in the ACC we have to keep everything in perspective. Let’s finish this season off, we can’t start taking any vows at this point in the season. Let’s see where we finish, we need to stay force and prepare ourselves to continue to play well as we move through the remaining of the games and get ready for next season. We are not done yet, we still have ways to go and we want to make sure we milk this season for all that we can get out of it.”
How to Approach The ACC Tournament…
“We are not going to allow ourselves to get too philosophical about anything. We know we still have some work to do, we can play better than what we have played. We had moments out there tonight where we did not make great decisions but that is part of growing up. We have two seniors and we have a lot of young guys, we have five first year guys that are still trying to blend themselves in. So I want to stay focused right now, we are going to take tomorrow off and come back here on Monday and determine who we are going to play on Thursday.”