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Miami 81, North Carolina State 71

The SportsXchange

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Miami guard Durand Scott scored a career-high 32 points to help the ninth-ranked Hurricanes defeat North Carolina State, 81-71, in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament on Saturday at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Scott, a senior who fouled out with 1:53 remaining, has scored the second-most points of any player in the nine tournament games here this week.

Top-seeded Miami (26-6) meets the winner of the Maryland-North Carolina semifinal in the final at 1 p.m. Sunday. It will be the first ACC Tournament final for the Hurricanes, who might have a chance for a No. 1 regional seed for the NCAA tournament.

Shane Larkin added 23 points for Miami.

Fifth-seeded N.C. State (24-10) is expected to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Scott Wood scored 21 points, C.J. Leslie added 14 and T.J. Warren, before fouling out, had 13 for the Wolfpack.

Scott scored the first five Miami points of the second half before going to the bench after apparently being hit in the face. He was back after a short break, but N.C. State got back into the game for a while.

The Wolfpack closed to within 50-44 on Wood' 3-pointer with 12 minutes to play.

Miami led by as much as 39-20 in the first half, turning thousands of Wolfpack fans nearly silent for stretches.

But in the last 62 seconds of the half, Wood scored seven points and Lorenzo Brown hit two free throws as the Wolfpack pulled to within 41-29 despite missing three foul shots in the last 10 seconds.

Earlier, Scott racked up 11 points as the Hurricanes took a 14-5 lead in the first nine-plus minutes.

N.C. State was scoreless for nearly the first 5 1/2 minutes, coming up empty on eight consecutive possessions. However, Miami managed only a 5-0 edge during that stretch.

NOTES: Miami won the only regular-season meeting between the teams, 79-78, on Feb. 2 in Raleigh on Reggie Johnson's tip-in. ... Miami was in the semifinals for only the second time, while N.C. State played in the semifinals for the 10th time in 15 years. ... N.C. State was aiming for its 25th victory, something it hasn't reached since the 1983 national championship team. ... With 48 victories in the last two seasons, the most in back-to-back seasons for N.C. State since a two-year period ending in 1982-83.
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