Career Days Lead Miami Hurricanes Win over NC State
Three Miami Hurricanes set a career high in points, two off the bench and the Hurricanes turned a nine point halftime deficit into a five point victory at North Carolina State on Saturday.
The Hurricanes Davon Reed with 26, Anthony Lawrence with 19 and Ebuka Izundu with 16 all scored career highs in the victory. Miami came back after a tough first half defensively to out score the Wolfpack 48-34 after halftime in a 84-79 win.
North Carolina State shot 62 percent in the first half, including 8-10 on three-point attempts. State’s star freshman guard Dennis Smith Jr seemed to be making shots blindfolded. The likely lottery pick in June was 6-6 from the floor and 4-4 on three-point attempts before intermission.
It wasn’t bad defense on the Hurricanes part as much as Smith just couldn’t miss. His only missed shot in the first half was ironically a free throw. After Ja’Quan Newton guarded him in the game’s first 20 minutes, Jim Larranaga switched Reed on Smith in the game’s final stanza.
Reed was switched to Smith after he asked Head Coach Jim Larranaga to be switched on to him at halftime. Reed was quoted by ESPN as saying: “He’s a very good player…Whatever he was doing in the first half was working for him, so to give him a different look in the second half is what we were aiming for.”
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Smith was 4-9 and 1-4 on threes in the second half. Reed had an amazing performance at both ends of the floor. In addition to the great job he did on Smith, he earned his 26 points. Reed shot 7-10 on three-point attempts and also had seven rebounds and three assists.
Lawrence came off the bench after he had started the last several games. His and Izundu’s contribution proved essential in the win and were not by accident. Larranaga said:
“We really directed our comments to our bench before the game, saying that this has to be a total team effort…We can’t just have our three guards score. We need other guys to step in there, and they did.”
That was the most points Miami has received off the bench in an ACC Game this season. If Lawrence and/or Huell (depending on who Larranaga sticks with in the starting lineup) can continue to give quality performances off the bench, Miami will make a strong run at a second straight NCAA Tournament Appearance.
Next Game: Miami returns home for a meeting with Virginia Tech. This will be key game for the NCAA tournament committee. Buzz Williams has his team playing well. The Hokies are 16-6, 5-5 and will be well rested with a week off. They were routed by instate rival Virginia 71-48 Wednesday night.