Durand's Dominance: MBB advances to ACC Final
5 - NC STATE
24-10 • 11-7
1 - MIAMI
26-6 • 15-3 ACC
March 15, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Durand Scott scored a career-high 32 points to help No. 9 Miami beat North Carolina State 81-71 on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals, earning its first trip to the championship game.
Shane Larkin added 23 for the top-seeded Hurricanes (26-6), who led the entire way and by 19 points late in the first half. Miami shot 46 percent behind Scott, a senior guard who went 12-for-18 from the field and 5-for-8 from 3-point range.
Scott also had a couple of big shots that shut down comeback bids from the fifth-seeded Wolfpack (24-10), who got as close as six after halftime but couldn't dig out of that big hole.
Miami also controlled the boards to score 18 second-chance points to go with 15 points off turnovers.
Now the Hurricanes can turn their attention to adding a tournament title to go with their first regular-season crown in Sunday's final.
Miami will face the winner of the later semifinal between seventh-seeded Maryland and No. 3 seed North Carolina.
Scott Wood scored 21 points with six 3s to lead N.C. State, which was in the semifinals for the second straight season. But both times, coach Mark Gottfried's team ran into a No. 1 seed that denied the Wolfpack a chance to win the program's first tournament title since 1987 under Jim Valvano.
Scott scored 19 points in the first half, the last coming when he hit two free throws to give Miami its biggest lead at 39-20. N.C. State closed with a flurry to cut the deficit to 12 at half then got as close as 50-44 on Wood's 3-pointer with 12 minutes left to re-energize a home-state crowd that had gone silent with Miami's early dominance.
But Scott answered with a straightaway 3, holding his release long after the ball swished through the net. Then Larkin banked in a pullup shot to push the margin back to double figures.
Scott did it again a few minutes later, hitting a 3 over freshman Rodney Purvis as the shot clock wound down then holding his form again as the Hurricanes went up 13 with 7 1/2 minutes left.
The Wolfpack twice more got the deficit to single digits in the final 2 minutes, but Larkin hit four straight free throws to answer those baskets then rebounded C.J. Leslie's missed jumper that signaled an end to the Wolfpack's run.
Miami won the only regular-season meeting 79-78 on Reggie Johnson's tip-in with 0.8 seconds left, though Purvis very nearly made a shot from beyond halfcourt - the ball hit the rim and rattled out - at the horn.
That was N.C. State's first full game without point guard Lorenzo Brown due to an ankle injury and came in the middle of a three-game skid that took the preseason ACC favorite Wolfpack out of the regular-season title chase.
Brown was back to drive the Wolfpack's transition attack this time, but finished with six points but went 0-for-6 from the field with five of the team's 14 turnovers. N.C. State shot 57 percent after halftime and 50 percent for the game, but never could recover from a bad start that saw the Wolfpack go scoreless for the first 5 1/2 minutes.
Game Notes for Unviersity of Miami vs. North Carolina State University on March 16, 2013
Today's Starters: Shane Larkin, Durand Scott, Trey McKinney Jones, Kenny Kadji & Julian Gamble.
With the win, Miami advances to its first ACC Tournament championship game in school history. It is also Miami's first conference tournament championship game in school history.·
Miami increased its school-record single-season wins total to 26. The Hurricanes improve to 6-9 against NC State in the all-time series, dating back to the 1939-40 campaign. The Hurricanes are 3-3 against the Wolfpack at home, 1-6 away and 2-0 at neutral sites.·
Miami improved to 18-2 this season when outrebounding opponents. The Canes outrebounded NC State by a 35-25 margin.·
The Hurricanes shot 76.7 percent from the FT line, improving to 12-2 on the season when shooting better than 70 percent from the line.·
Durand Scott scored a career-high 32 points in 36 minutes, after only scoring 9 points in 39 minutes Friday vs. Boston College. Scott's previous career high was 29 points at North Carolina on March 2, 2010.·
Scott's 32 points also established a school record for most points by a Hurricane in an ACC Tournament game.
Scott's 19 first-half points are the most by a Miami player in the first half this year. The previous record was 15 by Scott at Duke on March 2, 2013.
Scott's 32 points are the most by a Hurricane since Shane Larkin scored 27 against Jacksonville University on Nov. 16, 2013.·
Scott recorded the first 30-point game for a Hurricane since Kenny Kadji scored 30 points against UNC Greensboro on Jan. 2, 2012.
Shane Larkin, who finished with 23 points, recorded back-to-back 20-point games for the second time this season. He previously recorded back-to-back 20 plus point games vs. Virginia Tech on Feb. 23 and Duke on March 2.
Scott (32 points) and Larkin (23) shot for a combined 57 percent from the field and accounted for 55 of Miami's 81 points.
Reggie Johnson, who finished the game with 6 rebounds (5 offensive), recorded his second-highest offensive rebound total of the season. Johnson grabbed seven offensive rebounds vs. Stetson on Nov. 19, 2012.