ACCMBB in NCAA Second Round: Miami's Angel Calms Shockers


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) —  Angel Rodriguez took over midway through the second half, hitting a big 3-pointer with 72 seconds remaining and scoring 28 points to lead the third-seeded Hurricanes over Wichita State 65-57 on Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

Miami (27-7) made it that far three years ago under Jim Larranaga, in his fifth season as head coach. Sheldon McClellan finished with 18 points and Davon Reed had 10 for the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes will play either Iowa or Villanova next weekend in Louisville in the South Region semifinals.

Fred VanVleet and Shaquille Morris each had 12 points and Ron Baker 11 for 11th-seeded Wichita State (26-9), which put on a furious rally in the second half of a bruising game, taking a 43-42 lead with 10:24 to go.

After Baker's 3-pointer gave Wichita State its first lead, Ja'Quan Newton had a slam dunk to put Maimi back on top and McClellan scored eight straight points for some separation.

McClellan nearly gave it away, though, when he failed to convert a lob from Rodriguez with 2:59 left and Miami clinging to a 55-51 lead.

Rodriguez came back with a stunning hook off the glass for a 57-53 lead with 2:05 left and followed with his clutch 3 from the wing.

With their fans cheering "We shock! We shock!" the Shockers erased the daunting deficit with another gutsy performance in the second.

Zach Brown hit a 3 and VanVleet followed with a steal and another 3, both baskets in a span of 11 seconds, and Morris's hook in the lane off a steal by Baker closed the gap to nine with nearly 16 minutes left, plenty of time for a comeback for the team that won a play-in game then upset sixth-seeded Arizona.

Baker then set up Markis McDuffie for a 3 and Morris set a perfect screen on Rodriguez at the top of the key to free VanVleet for a driving layup through the paint.

Larranaga was whistled for a technical after protesting a call as the Hurricanes struggled to hold their edge. That margin finally disappeared when Baker drained a 3 for a shocking 43-42 lead.

Much of the focus figured to center on the performance of the backcourts featuring four seniors- VanVleet and Baker against Rodriguez and McClellan. The Miami duo is a tad older, but the Shockers had more tournament experience.

Age took over at the start and came through at the end.

Rodriguez was 7 for 7 for 16 points in the opening half, scoring 11 points in the first eight minutes as Wichita State struggled to find any room to shoot, missing its first five 3-pointers and hitting only 1 of 12 shots.

It got much worse as the Hurricanes gave the Shockers a big taste of their own medicine. The top defensive team in the nation was torched for 12-of-15 shooting in the first 12 minutes as Miami outscored the Shockers 18-0 in the paint and forced seven turnovers, gaining a 21-point lead on a scoop by McClellan at 8:27.

VanVleet set up Baker for a 3 from the wing to start an 11-0 Wichita State run and the Shockers clamped down defensively, forcing five turnovers while holding the Hurricanes scoreless for more than five minutes.

TIP-INS

Wichita State: VanVleet, already the school's assist leader, had four steals for 225 in his career, a Wichita State record. VanVleet needed a win for his 121st, which would have been a school and conference record.

Miami: Rodriguez is a transfer from Kansas State and McClellan came over from Texas. Both 23-year-old stars made the move after the 2012-13 season and had played a combined 269 games entering Saturday's matchup.

STATS

The Shockers were allowing just 58.9 points per game to lead the nation and ranked fifth in field goal percentage defense (38.3). Miami shot 12 of 20 (60 percent) in the first half and 55.3 percent for the game.

SHOOTING BLANKS

Baker's 3-pointer in the first half was his only basket of the period. He and VanVleet were 3 for 13 for nine points compared to Rodriguez and McClellan, who were 9 or 11 for 23 points. The only blemish was Rodriguez's six turnovers.

UP NEXT

Miami: Either Iowa or Villanova in the Sweet 16.

Postgame Notes

Team Notes

-Miami forced 10 turnovers in the first half, scoring 15 points off turnovers in the opening 20 minutes. The Hurricanes finished with 15 forced turnovers and 23 points off turnovers in the game.

-Canes built a 21-point lead, 27-6, with 8:26 remaining in the opening half. Miami never trailed in the first half, leading Wichita State for 18:55 of the 20 minutes in the half.

-Miami’s victory over Wichita State moved the Hurricanes to 8-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

-Miami will face the winner of the Villanova-Iowa matchup in the Sweet Sixteen.

-The Hurricanes have reached the Sweet Sixteen for the 3rd time in program history and the second time under head coach Jim Larrañaga.

-With the win, Miami has won four of its last five NCAA Tournament games.

-The Hurricanes have won at least one game in each of their past three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Miami has won two games in two straight NCAA tournament appearances.

-Miami improved to 2-0 all-time against Wichita State. The series dates back to 1988.

-The Hurricanes held a 32-19 lead at the half. Miami improved to 21-1 when leading at the half.

-Miami moved to 101-42 all-time as a ranked team. The Hurricanes also improved to 53-22 as a ranked team since joining the ACC.

-With the win, Jim Larrañaga now has a 588-390 overall record in his 32nd season as a head coach. He is 118-56 in his fifth season at the University of Miami.

-Larrañaga improved to 9-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. He also owns a 4-1 record since arriving at Miami.

-Larrañaga made his seventh career appearance in the NCAA Tournament and his second since arriving at Miami.

-Miami’s starters were Angel Rodriguez, Sheldon McClellan, Davon Reed, Kamari Murphy and Tonye Jekiri.

Individual Notes

-Angel Rodriguez has hit a 3-pointer in 12 straight games and has three-plus assists in 14 of the last 15 games.

-With a career-high 28 points, Rodriguez scored 20+ points for the second consecutive game and second time this season.

-Rodriguez scored Miami’s first seven points, giving Miami a 7-2 lead with 16:23 remaining in the opening half.

-Rodriguez was 7-7 on field goal attempts and 2-2 on 3-point attempts in the first half.

-Davon Reed has hit a 3-pointer in 8 of his last 10 games.

-Reed scored 10+ points for the 8th time in his last 10 games.

-Sheldon McClellan has scored 10+ points in 22-straight games, dating back to Miami’s ACC opener against Syracuse (1/2/16). He has scored at least 10 points in 31 of Miami’s 34 games this season.

-Kamari Murphy has pulled down four-plus rebounds in 11 of the last 12 games.

-Tonye Jekiri has pulled down 5+ rebounds in 9 of his last 10 games.

-Head Coach Jim Larrañaga received a technical foul with 11:28 remaining in the game