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Miami turns back Virginia Tech to reach semifinals
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sheldon McClellan scored 21 points and fellow senior guard Angel Rodriguez had 19 to help No. 11 Miami beat Virginia Tech 88-82 on Thursday night in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.
Miami (25-6) advanced to play No. 4 Virginia in the semifinals Friday night. All four top seeds won in the quarterfinals, with No. 7 North Carolina and defending tournament champion Notre Dame also advancing.
McClellan and Rodriguez combined for 31 points in the second half.
Guard Seth Allen thrived on drawing fouls and led Virginia Tech (19-13) with 31 points, including 17 free throws. Leading scorer Zach LeDay was held to 12 points in limited action.
Reeling from a 77-62 loss to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Saturday, Miami was determined to start strong and led by as many as 10 in the first half. The Hokies closed out the half on an 11-2 run to the delight of orange-and-maroon heavy crowd.
Rodriguez heated up early in the second, hitting 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions and stealing the ball from Justin Bibbs for an easy layup. LeDay and the Hokies' emotions started boiling over trailing by 11.
The hole got deeper, and McClellan's wide-open 3 with 12:18 was Miami's sixth straight made field goal and boosted the deficit to 15. After Miami's Tonye Jekiri was called for a technical foul and the free throws piled up, Virginia Tech trimmed it to six with 1:19 left.
Officials had to separate LeDay and Rodriguez after a loose-ball foul escalated the tension with 8:12 left in the first half, and he yelled at the Hurricanes' bench during a timeout with 15:44 left the second. LeDay, held scoreless in the first half after getting into foul trouble, sat for more than 6 minutes before returning to the game.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies' streak of eight consecutive conference victories that snapped was their longest since 1964-65 when they played in the Southern Conference. ... Justin Robinson, who had scored in double figures in seven of eight games, finished with nine and fouled out.
Miami: Backup point guard Ja'Quan Newton scored 10 points in his return from a three-game suspension for violating team rules. ... Coach Jim Larranaga returned to Verizon Center, where he advanced to the Final Four with George Mason in 2006. With Miami, Larranaga lost in the Sweet 16 loss to Marquette in the building.
Miami: Faces fourth-ranked Virginia in the semifinals Friday.