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Hurricanes blow past last-place BC

The SportsXchange

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- With Miami holding its highest ranking in the polls since 1960 and with the last-place team in the Atlantic Coast Conference coming to town, the Hurricanes looked to be in position for a letdown Tuesday night.

It didn't happen.

The eighth-ranked Hurricanes continued their roll though the ACC with a 72-50 victory over Boston College.

Miami (18-3, 9-0 ACC) earned its 10th consecutive win.

"With a senior-laden team like ours, you wouldn't expect something like that," Julian Gamble, one of four seniors in Miami's starting lineup, said of the chance of the Hurricanes being flat or looking ahead to Saturday's game against North Carolina.

The Hurricanes never trailed, but they did have one tenuous moment when the Eagles (10-12, 2-7) cut a 13-point deficit late in the first half down to 33-27 a little over a minute into the second half.

"I was a little concerned at halftime because several of our big guys had two fouls," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "But we were able to come out in the second half with great energy and built on our 10-point lead and were able to sustain it."

The Eagles actually had a chance to get closer, but Lonnie Jackson missed a 3-pointer and Gamble blocked Eddie Odio's follow attempt, then retrieved the ball.

Kenny Kadji then got the Hurricanes moving again by scoring 10 consecutive points, including back-to-back 3-pointers. Over the next five-plus minutes, the Hurricanes outscored the Eagles 12-2 to build a 45-29 cushion.

"At that point we were hanging on," BC coach Steve Donahue said. "They were physically handing it to us."

The Hurricanes hounded the Eagles defensively all night, holding them to just 37.0 percent shooting and dominating the visitors on the boards by the tune of 42-30.

The Hurricanes' rebounding was especially big in the first half, when 13 of their total of 24 boards came on the offensive glass. Miami held an 11-3 advantage in second-chance points at the break.

"I think at one point they had missed 13 shots," Donahue said "and they had 10 second shots."

Once up by double digits again, the Hurricanes kept pouring it on.

Their biggest lead was 28 points with 1:34 left in the game, and the final 22-point margin was BC's first by more than 20 points.

Four Miami players scored in double figures, with junior Rion Brown breaking out of a shooting slump to lead the way with 22 points. He hit seven of 11 field-goal attempts overall and five of seven from beyond the 3-point arc.

He was only 11-for-34 in his previous seven games and had missed his only two attempts against North Carolina State in Miami's previous outing.

"I just got in the gym and got up shots," Brown said of his resurgence. "My teammates did a great job of finding me. They kept getting me the ball, and I kept knocking them down."

Kadji, who played only seven minutes in the first half after picking up two early fouls, wound up with 16 points in 21 minutes of play. Durand Scott added 11 points, and Shane Larkin had 10 for the Hurricanes.

Olivier Hanlan scored 16 points to lead BC, and Ryan Anderson had 14 points.

NOTES: The victory over BC gave Miami a sweep of the regular-season series. The Hurricanes won the first meeting in Conte Forum 60-59. ... The Eagles' previous worst losses were a pair of 16-point defeats to Dayton and Harvard early in the season. Their 23 points over the first 20 minutes matched their lowest first-half total of the year. They also had just 23 in a 61-59 overtime win over New Hampshire on Dec. 16. ... The 3-pointer Trey McKinney Jones hit at the 8:30 mark of the first half ended a streak of 10 consecutive misses from behind the arc for the Miami senior. He hit a 3-pointer at the 12:37 mark of the second half against Virginia Tech, then missed his next two attempts against the Hokies, all seven against North Carolina State, and his first one against BC. ... BC sophomore forward Odio, who made his fifth start of the season and scored five points, is from Miami. He played at Christopher Columbus High. ... Miami hasn't lost Christmas Day, when it dropped an overtime affair to Indiana State in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii.

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