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Miami 54, Virginia 50

The SportsXchange

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami barely survived its first game as the nation's second-ranked team.

Reggie Johnson scored on a layup and Durand Scott hit two free throws in the final seconds to give the Hurricanes a 54-50 victory over Virginia on Tuesday night in a struggle between the top two defensive teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Johnson took a pass from guard Shane Larkin and hit the tiebreaking basket with 5.7 seconds left. Scott then stole Virginia's inbounds pass and made the clinching free throws.

Larkin scored four of his team-high 11 points in the final 52 seconds. Rion Brown added 10 points.

Virginia's Joe Harris led all scorers with 16 points.

The victory kept the Hurricanes (22-3, 13-0 ACC) unbeaten in league play. It also extended their overall winning streak to 14 games, tying the school record set by the 1946-47 Hurricanes and matched by the 2001-02 team.

Virginia (18-8, 8-5) lost its second in the a row.

No more than seven points separated the teams all night.

Miami hit its first five shots -- three of them layups and one a dunk -- and worked its way to a 16-9 lead less than seven minutes into the game.

However, the Cavaliers maintained their poise and had three chances to either tie or taking a lead in the final two minutes of the first half.

First, with the Hurricanes up 22-20, Joe Harris missed a 3-pointer, and Jontel Evans missed a layup.

After Julian Gamble's layup with 1:22 left put Miami back up by four, Harris hit a layup, and then the Cavaliers got the ball back for a final shot when Gamble missed two free throws on Miami's ensuing possession.

Evans, under heavy defensive pressure from Scott, missed a jumper at the first-half buzzer, leaving Miami up 24-22 at the break.

NOTES: Johnson, a senior center, was recognized before the game for becoming the 34th Miami player to top the 1,000-point mark for his career. Johnson went over the mark the week before when the Hurricanes were on the road at Florida State. He had 1,007 points going into the game against Virginia. ... Gamble finished with four blocked shots, including three in succession on one Virginia possession. He also had eight points and a team-high eight rebounds.
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