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NEW YORK (HurricaneSports.com and AP) - Sheldon McClellan scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half, and short-handed Miami rallied to beat Temple 60-57 on Tuesday to reach the NIT championship game.
Already without point guard Angel Rodriguez, the Hurricanes lost center Tonye Jekiri to a concussion early on and trailed by 11 late in the first half.
The Owls' Quenton DeCosey was off on a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer as they went 0 for 15 from beyond the arc in the second half. The Hurricanes held Temple to 22.5 percent shooting overall after halftime.
After missing six of his first eight shots, McClellan hit two 3s in a row with about 8 minutes left to put Miami in front for good.
Owls freshman Obi Enechionyia set career highs with 17 points and five blocks. But leading scorer Will Cummings, who had averaged 22 points in the NIT, shot just 3 for 15.
Rodriguez missed his third straight game because of a nagging wrist injury. Jekiri, who scored two early baskets, was inadvertently struck in the face just over six minutes in and did not return. The two had combined to average more than 20 points per game.
Miami faces Stanford or Old Dominion on Thursday, seeking its first NIT title. The Owls were the top seed in the NIT as the first team left out of the NCAA Tournament.
DeAndre Burnett missed the front end of a one-and-one with 13.2 seconds left for the Hurricanes, and they decided not to foul, giving DeCosey the chance to send the game to overtime.
Miami: McClellan had 11 rebounds and was the only Hurricanes player in double figures.
Temple: Forward Jaylen Bond limped off with less than 8 minutes left and didn't return. ... With Jekiri out, the 6-foot-9 Enechionyia had his way inside. He also matched a career high with eight rebounds.
* After defeating Temple in the semifinals of the NIT, Miami will play for its first-ever national championship.
* In the Canes’ 12th appearance in the NIT, Miami is now 11-11 overall in the tournament, with a 1-0 mark in the semifinals.
* Miami’s 25 wins are second-most in school history, trailing 29 victories in 2012-13.
* Miami improves to 2-2 all-time against Temple, with a 0-1 mark at home, 0-1 on the road and 2-0 record at a neutral site
* Coach Jim Larrañaga earned his first-career win over Temple.
* Coach Jim Larrañaga has a 561-382 overall record in his 31st season as a head coach. He is 91-48 in his fourth season at the University of Miami, with a 41-29 mark in ACC play.
* Coach Jim Larrañaga, a native of The Bronx, coached his first game at Madison Square Garden as a head coach. He played in the World’s Most Famous Arena multiple times while playing college ball for Providence, and was an assistant coach for Virginia when the Cavaliers won the NIT in 1980. Larrañaga’s final collegiate game as a Friar was played against UNC in 1971, an 86-79 loss for PC in the NIT Elite 8.
* Miami has played 15 games this season that were decided by five points-or-less.
* Miami has scored 25+ points from the bench in 16 games this season, and 30+ in eight times. Miami’s high is 34 against South Alabama and vs. Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament.
* Miami has used 11 starting lineups this season, and every scholarship player has started at least one game.