BOSTON (AP)—Boston College showed it can win from the outside.
Jared Dudley scored 16 points and the 13th-ranked Eagles relied on some uncharacteristic 3-point shooting to beat Miami 65-54 on Thursday night for their 10th win in 11 games.
The Eagles (21-5, 8-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) usually rely on the inside scoring of Craig Smith and Dudley, but they broke the game open by hitting five 3-pointers, including three straight, in a 27-4 run over a 10:13 stretch of the second half.
“I think in the second half we did a better job of making our outside shots and we were able to open it up for Craig and Jared,” said guard Louis Hinnant, who had two 3s in the game-deciding spurt.
“With the attention on Craig, if you move around you’ll always get open shots,” Hinnant said.
Smith, who was slowed by Miami’s tight zone defense in the first half, finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Sean Marshall added 10 points. It was BC’s ninth straight win over Miami, also a former Big East school.
“It makes my job that much easier,” Smith said. “That’s just how it is. Next game, against Virginia, you’ll see it. They’ll focus on the inside and we’ll get it going on the outside.”
The Eagles shot 61 percent (14-of-23) in the second half, hitting six 3-pointers. They had 19 assists on 20 field goals in the game.
“We knew they were capable shooters,” Miami guard Robert Hite said. “It was just a matter of us not getting out and contesting the shots. They made shots and we didn’t get stops when we needed to.”
Hite had 18 points for the Hurricanes (14-11, 6-6), who dropped to 0-3 against ranked teams this season. They travel to No. 2 Duke on Sunday.
“In the first half we played well defensively and that was the key,” Miami coach Frank Haith said. “I thought, in the second half, we lost focus a little defensively. In the second half, they got some uncontested shots. They’re good players and they’re going to make uncontested shots if you give them to them.”
The Hurricanes, who led by six points at halftime, took a 31-22 lead on Hite’s two free throws 1:10 into the second half. BC then seemed to get untracked when Smith had a three-point play and Marshall hit a 3 from the left wing, only the Eagles’ second shot from the perimeter the entire game, to cut it to 31-28.
BC took its first lead of the game at 34-33 on Sean Williams’ foul line jumper with 14:03 to play.
After Anthony King’s free throw tied it, Hinnant hit two 3s and Marshall added another in a 2:10 span, pushing the Eagles ahead 43-34 with just under 10 minutes left.
The Eagles’ sharp shooting continued when Tyrese Rice and Smith had baskets before Rice and Dudley hit 3-pointers 64 seconds apart, making it 53-37 with 6:48 left.
BC hit 12 of its first 19 shots—half of them 3-pointers—to start the second half after its lowest scoring half of the season.
“It was the recognition in our zone offense,” BC coach Al Skinner said. “It comes in the flow of the game. It’s not like we want to come down and fire up 3s.”
The Eagles had trouble with Miami’s 2-3 zone in the first half as the Hurricanes packed their defense around Smith. BC hit just one shot from outside a couple of feet and finished 6-for-20 in the half.
Smith’s short jumper in the key tied it at 17-all with 6:52 left in the half before the Hurricanes closed with an 11-5 run. Guillermo Diaz hit a jumper in the final second to give Miami a 28-22 lead.