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(Friday, March 15th)
Final Score: (9) Miami-Florida 69, Boston College 58
Greensboro, NC (Sports Network) - Shane Larkin scored 20 points and Kenny Kadji chipped in 15 with 11 rebounds, as ninth-ranked Miami-Florida fought off a stiff challenge from Boston College and claimed a 69-58 victory in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.
Trey McKinney Jones added 12 points for the Hurricanes (25-6), who closed the contest with a 14-3 run. Miami captured the top seed in the tournament for the first time after winning the regular-season crown outright and will next faced fifth-seeded North Carolina State in Saturday's semifinals.
Patrick Heckmann led Boston College (16-17) with 15 points, while Ryan Anderson and Olivier Hanlan each finished with 14. Hanlan made just 2-of-3 from 3-point range after blistering the nets with eight threes and 41 points in Thursday's 84-64 first-round win over Georgia Tech.
A three by Heckmann with 3:23 remaining tied the game at 55-55, but Durand Scott hit a pair from the line to break the deadlock and Boston College was unable to answer on its next two trips.
After a turnover by Hanlan, Larkin drilled a three for a 60-55 edge with 1:49 left and another miscue by the Eagles led to a Rion Brown basket for a seven- point margin.
"I think it was the mental breakdown at the end of the game. I don't know if it was mental fatigue, but we messed up on rotations and finishing things and making free throws, so a lot of the things they beat us on at the end."
Hanlan's last three pulled BC within 63-58 with 37 seconds remaining, but the Hurricanes sealed it with a couple of easy baskets from there.
Miami certainly looked like the top seed early, scoring the first five points and building a 13-2 lead five minutes into the contest. A three by Larkin with 7:48 remaining in the first half gave the Hurricanes a 21-8 cushion, but Boston College stormed back.
Lonnie Jackson buried a three to ignite a half-closing 19-4 run. Miami went without a basket for six minutes as a Hanlan jumper tied the game at 23-23. A Scott jumper ended the Hurricanes' drought with 1:11 left, but the Eagles scored the final four points to grab a 27-25 edge at the break.
"We could have easily got down on ourselves and fussed between each other but we stuck together and that's something I think we have been taught over the year is to stay together," Larkin said.
BC led by as many as five early in the second half, the last time coming at 42-37 after a three by Jackson. Miami answered with the next eight -- four apiece from Scott and Larkin -- to grab a 45-42 edge with 11 1/2 minutes to play and it remained close until the final minutes.
Scott finished with nine points ... Miami held a 32-24 rebounding advantage ... Larkin made 4-of-9 from 3-point range ... The Hurricanes won all three meetings with the Eagles this season ... The ACC's top seed is 36-2 against the No. 8. The last top seed to lose its tourney opener was Duke against NC State in 1997.
03/15 19:10:42 ET
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