Larkin leads No. 9 Miami past BC 69-58 at ACCs - WNCN: News, Weather

Larkin leads No. 9 Miami past BC 69-58 at ACCs

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -

Boston College freshman Olivier Hanlan couldn't follow up his record-setting ACC tournament debut with a huge upset.
    
The eighth-seeded Eagles lost to No. 9 Miami 69-58 on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
    
And Hanlan - who was coming off a 41-point performance in the first round, a record for league freshmen - was held to 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting by a Miami team that's built on defense.
    
"It's very difficult to come back from that type of performance and not expect one of the best defensive teams in the country to put you on lockdown," BC coach Steve Donahue said. "I thought he handled it well, and I thought we played off it well."
    
Hanlan made 16 consecutive shots over two days before missing 5 of his final 6 attempts of this one for eighth-seeded BC (16-17).
    
Yet the Eagles were in this one down the stretch and gave the top-seeded Hurricanes (25-6) a serious scare.
    
Patrick Heckmann finished with 15 points for the Eagles, and his 3-pointer with 3½ minutes left tied it at 55.
    
Durand Scott put Miami in front to stay with two free throws with 3:01 left, and Shane Larkin took over a few moments later. He came up with a key steal from Hanlan, then buried a momentum-shifting 3 off an inbounds pass to make it 60-55 with 1:49 left.
    
"It wasn't just me who got the steal," Larkin said, adding that Kenny Kadji was in on the trap and teammate Rion Brown made a heady play to save the ball. "It was all of us."
    
After Brown swished a pretty hanging jumper with 57.6 seconds left, and Kadji added a free throw to make it 63-55, BC didn't get closer than five points the rest of the way. Trey McKinney Jones punctuated the victory with a dunk with 17.2 seconds left.
    
"We just had mental breakdowns" during the final 3 minutes, Hanlan said. "The little things hurt us."
    
Larkin scored 15 of his 20 points after halftime, Kadji added 15 points and McKinney Jones finished with 12 for Miami, which shot nearly 70 percent in the second half while making all the plays down the stretch to avoid becoming the ACC's first No. 1 seed to lose its tournament opener since 1997.
    
And the Hurricanes - who have won at least one ACC tournament game in eight of their 10 seasons in the league - have Larkin to thank for their latest escape.
    
"By adding Shane to that group (of seniors), he adds an element that allows all of them to play better," coach Jim Larranaga said. "He's so good at what he does. A lot of times you'll see (Larkin) in the first half try to get the ball to (his teammates), and then the second half starts, he starts to pick his spots to attack and score or find the open man. We absolutely needed that."
    
Larkin also keyed the defensive effort on Hanlan, who a day earlier set an ACC tournament record for freshmen with 41 points in the first-round win over Georgia Tech.
    
Ryan Anderson also had 14 points for the Eagles, who had their ACC-best four-game winning streak snapped and were denied their first semifinal appearance since 2007.
    
They lost twice to Miami during the regular season in vastly differing ways: The Hurricanes romped by 32 points in Coral Gables a few weeks after holding on for a one-point win at BC.
    
And for a while, this one looked like a repeat of that blowout - at least until BC dug itself out of a double-digit hole for the second straight day.
    
After rallying from 15 points down to beat the Yellow Jackets in the first round, the Eagles spotted Miami a 21-8 lead before closing the half on a 19-4 run and took their first lead when Anderson's layup with 4 seconds left made it 27-25. That coincided with a brutally cold spell for Miami, which missed 14 of its last 16 shots of the half against a BC team that started pressing the Hurricanes and defending them with a zone.
    
"We got a little passive," Larranaga said. "We didn't attack the way we wanted to."
    
BC stretched its lead to 30-25 on Heckmann's 3-pointer 20 seconds into the half. Miami eventually countered with an 11-2 run and took a 48-44 lead on Larkin's deep 3, and things remained tight until Larkin and the Hurricanes finally pulled away.
 

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