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MBB Falls at Boston College

by Alex Schwartz

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team dropped an 84-62 decision Tuesday at Boston College.

The Eagles dazzled from 3-point range all game, ending the night 18-of-35 (51.4 percent) from deep at Silvio O. Conte Forum. It marked the most 3-pointers the Hurricanes have ever allowed in an ACC game.

“I thought Boston College was very sharp from start to finish and we were awful,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We had a terrible practice yesterday missing layups, careless with the ball, and it carried over to tonight.”

Boston College (3-9, 1-5 ACC) used a 12-4 run midway through the first half, during which it hit four consecutive 3-pointers, to take a 30-18 edge with 7:17 on the clock. The Hurricanes twice trimmed the deficit to six and each time Boston College countered with a 3-pointer, en route to shooting 9-of-17 from long range in the opening 20 minutes.

The Eagles built a 44-34 lead by the intermission, good for the most points Miami (5-6, 1-5 ACC) has allowed in a half this year. The Hurricanes shot 58.3 percent (14-of-24) from the floor in the session, their third-highest total in a half in 2020-21, but made just one 3-pointer.

Boston College continued its sizzling long-range shooting in the second half, as redshirt senior guard Rich Kelly hit back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the lead to 58-36 with 14:12 remaining. The Eagles hit their 16th 3-pointer, setting the top mark by a Miami foe in ACC play, with 9:37 still to play.

They added two more to their total to finish with the second-most makes by an ACC team this season, including the most in league play, and earn the victory on their home court.

Redshirt senior center Nysier Brooks co-led the Hurricanes with a season-high 14 points, posting a 4-of-7 mark from the floor and a 6-of-6 tally at the line. Senior guard Elijah Olaniyi also scored 14 points and hit Miami’s lone two 3-pointers.

Freshman guard Earl Timerblake logged 12 points and a game-high-tying eight rebounds, while sophomore guard Harlond Beverly added 10 points.

Kelly paced all scorers with 27 points, finishing 10-of-16 from the floor and 7-of-12 from deep, tying for the most 3-point makes by an ACC player this season. Sophomore guard Jay Heath scored 25 points, posting a 9-of-19 clip from the field and a 5-of-9 mark from beyond the arc.

Senior forward Steffon Mitchell scored 12 points and went 3-of-4 on 3-pointers, hitting all three of his first-half attempts after entering the game 5-of-23 on the year. Sophomore forward CJ Felder chipped in 10 points, tied for the game lead with eight boards and blocked five shots.

“When one guy starts making it, it has like a snowball effect,” Larrañaga said. “We told our guys, ‘Rich Kelly is having a great year, he’s shooting the ball extremely well. Jay Heath is just a very good, all-conference caliber guard.’ … They just torched our backcourt like we weren’t there.”

Miami, which allowed its highest point total of the year, had a 40-22 edge in paint points, but went just 2-of-16 (12.5 percent) from deep in the game, as the Eagles had 48 more points off 3-pointers.

The Hurricanes now return home to Coral Gables, Fla., where they host No. 16/18 Louisville Saturday at 8 p.m., live on ACC Network from the Watsco Center.

To keep up with the University of Miami men’s basketball team on social media, follow @CanesHoops on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The 2020-21 Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball season is presented by First National Bank.

MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
– The Hurricanes moved to 25-27 all-time against Boston College, including 10-14 on the road and 12-3 in Larrañaga’s tenure.
– Larrañaga, who entered the game with the 10th-most victories of any active Division I coach, is now 665-453 in 37 years as a head coach, including 195-119 in 10 seasons at Miami.
– For the third time this season, Miami used a starting lineup of Beverly, Brooks, Timberlake, freshman forward Matt Cross and sophomore guard Isaiah Wong.
– Miami once again played without senior guard Chris Lykes (left ankle), redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty (right hamstring), redshirt senior center Rodney Miller Jr. (right knee, season) and redshirt senior forward Sam Waardenburg (left foot, season).
– Tuesday marked just the 10th time, in 57 outings, under Larrañaga that Miami fell to a team with a record under .500.
– The setback against Boston College marked only the 10th time in 10 seasons under Larrañaga the Hurricanes have dropped an ACC game by 20-plus points.
– The prior top point total the Hurricanes allowed in a half this season was 43 in the second frame against Pittsburgh (12/16/20).
– The last time Miami conceded 44-plus points in an opening half was 2/23/20 at Notre Dame, when the Fighting Irish scored 48.
– Boston College’s nine 3-ponters in each half tied for the fifth-most Miami has allowed in a session since joining the ACC in 2004-05, including tied for the third-most by a league foe.
– The Eagles’ 18 3-pointers were one shy of the program record of 19.
– Prior to Tuesday, the most 3-pointers Miami had allowed in ACC game was 15 by No. 5/4 Duke on 2/20/08.
– The last time Miami allowed 20-plus points to two opposing players in a game was 2/19/20 at Virginia Tech, when Tyrece Radford and Jalen Cone did so in a triple-overtime contest.
– The Hurricanes last conceded 20-plus points to two opposing players in a regulation contest on 1/4/20 when Vernon Carey Jr., and Cassius Stanley of second-ranked Duke did so.
– Miami last allowed 25-plus points to two opposing players on 11/23/18 when Fresno State’s Braxton Huggins and Deshon Taylor did so in a game in Fullerton, Calif.
– The lone ACC team to make more 3-pointers in a game this season is Virginia Tech, which hit 20 on 12/19/20 versus Coppin State.
– The only other ACC player to hit seven 3-pointers in a contest in 2020-21 is Notre Dame’s Nate Laszewski, who did so on 1/2/21 at North Carolina.
– When Boston College took its largest lead of the first half, 30-18, with 7:17 to go in the frame, it had seven offensive rebounds compared to Miami’s six defensive boards.
– Timberlake, who eclipsed 50 points in his young career, scored in double figures for the fifth time in six appearances.
– Olaniyi, who surpassed 2,750 minutes played as a collegian and set a season best with six rebounds, tallied double-figure points for the 63rd time, including the fourth at Miami.
– Brooks, who set a season high in made free throws, logged his 18th double-digit point total, including his fourth as a Hurricane.
– Beverly registered his 13th double-figure scoring performance, including his fourth this season.