Boston College 74, Miami 71, OT
TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—With Jared Dudley and Sean Marshall missing more shots than usual, Boston College needed someone to take on a more prominent role against Miami.
Tyrese Rice took it a step further. The sophomore guard completely took over.
Rice scored a career-high 32 points, including a key 3-pointer near the end of regulation and two huge free throws in overtime, to propel the Eagles to a 74-71 victory over Miami in the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Friday.
“The kid Rice was incredible,” Hurricanes coach Frank Haith said. “He made every big shot. They made the plays they needed to make to win the game.”
Rice carried the Eagles for much of the game and essentially picked up the slack for Dudley—the conference player of the year—and Marshall. Dudley had 12 points on 3-of-9 shooting. Dudley was 2-of-10 from the field and finished with five points, his fewest scoring output in 20 games.
“I just felt like I needed to create a little bit more for my team, and it worked out,” Rice said.
Dudley was relatively quiet for the first 40 minutes but stepped up in overtime, hitting a jumper and then converting a three-point play that put fourth-seeded Boston College (20-10) ahead 72-71 with 1:51 remaining.
The 12th-seeded Hurricanes (12-20) had several shots to regain the lead— and avoid a season-ending loss—but none of them fell. Anthony Harris missed a 3-pointer, and Jack McClinton’s ill-advised baseline scoop shot hit the side of the backboard. Miami was then forced to foul, and Rice made both free throws to make it a three-point game with 3.1 seconds to play.
“We had them on the ropes and we just didn’t finish them,” Haith said.
The ‘Canes had one final chance, but Harris couldn’t get a 3-pointer off before the final buzzer.
Rice finished 9-of-14 from the field, 6-of-10 from 3-point range and 8-of-13 from the free throw line. He had 16 points in the first half, 14 in the second and the two big ones in overtime.
“He got in a rhythm early in the ball game,” Haith said. “He’s got such great pace to his game, keeps you off balance. And when he’s making his 3-ball, like he did today, it makes him very tough because you’ve got to respect his ability to get in the paint area. … We were trying to be more aggressive with him in the second half and not let him kind of rock us back on our heels because he was in such a rhythm shooting the ball.”
John Oates added 14 points for the Eagles, who won for just the second time in six games.
Boston College advanced to face eighth-ranked and top-seeded North Carolina in the semifinals Saturday. The Tar Heels handled Florida State earlier in the day.
Miami, coming off a surprising win against Maryland in the first round, hadn’t won consecutive conference games all season. But the team led by as many as 14 points early in the second half and was ahead 62-54 with 4 minutes to play. Boston College steadily chipped away, but needed Rice’s 3-pointer to send it into overtime.
Rice’s long-range shot landed softly on the front of the rim, hit the backboard and fell through with 31.4 seconds to play.
“If we’re in a close ball game, we’re going to fight and make the plays that we have to make,” BC coach Al Skinner said.
Harris missed a game-winner on the other end, and the ACC tournament had its third overtime in six games. Harris finished with 15 points, McClinton had 16 and Jimmy Graham added 12 before fouling out with about 2 minutes to play in overtime.
“It’s a bad feeling to end our year like this, but on a positive note, we made progress at the end of the season and we can carry it over into next year,” Graham said.
Boston College solidified its spot in the NCAA tournament with the victory. Miami, meanwhile, lost 20 games in a season for just the third time in school history.
“We’ve gone through so much in terms of losing guys through suspensions, through injuries and this ballclub has found a way,” said Haith, whose team lost for the 12th time in 15 games. “Even the last month of the season, we’ve really been playing well. We haven’t always won, but we started to play better. We’ve got a lot of young talent. I’ve got to believe that if we continue to build on what we did in this tournament and the last month of the season, we could have a special team.”