ATLANTA — Miami got off to a horrible start in its first-round game of the 59th ACC Tournament at Philips Arena on Thursday night. But the Hurricanes used a second-half explosion to put away Georgia Tech and advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.
The Hurricanes used a 24-2 second half run to pull away from the Yellow Jackets by scoring in nearly every conceivable fashion. Miami’s domination after the half was so impressive that Tech had just 27 points – seven for the half – with six minutes left in the game.
Miami, which closed the game on a 30-9 run, improved its NCAA Tournament chances by moving its record to 19-11, while the Yellow Jackets close their season at 11-20.
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Here are the grades of both teams’ performances Thursday night:
GT offense: Wow, this isn’t going to be a kind report. The Yellow Jackets were awful from start to finish. They converted just 14 of 44 shot attempts (31.8 percent), including a paltry 3-16 from 3-point range. Grade: F.
Miami offense: The Hurricanes were really bad until about seven minutes into the second half when they erupted on a 16-0 run that reached 24-2. The Canes got everything they wanted in the second half from power stuff inside by Reggie Johnson to 3s to drives by Durand Scott to alley-oop dunks to whatever they felt like doing. Miami shot 33.3 percent for the game, but were at 41.4 percent after halftime. Grade: B.
GT defense: In the first half, Tech was fine, holding Miami to 19 points. After the intermission Tech’s defense was nonexistent. Miami scored 35 second-half points (after having 19 at the half) and blistered the Jackets in every way imaginable. This just wasn’t a performance Techsters will ever care to recall. Grade: F.
Miami defense: The Hurricanes flexed their muscles on the offensive end after halftime, but were outstanding all game on the defensive end of the floor. Miami held GT to 31.8 percent shooting overall from the floor, including 18.8 percent from beyond the arc. They forced some second-half steals that led to easy baskets, and just made life miserable for the Jackets. Grade: A+.
GT intangibles: A long, difficult season in which the Yellow Jackets essentially had no home is finally over. There were no intangibles executed in this game. But the season is over, and Brian Gregory can move forward. Grade: F.
Miami intangibles: The Hurricanes found the spark that led them to the easy victory when they needed it. The Canes did the job at a very high level during that run, and sensing Georgia Tech was vulnerable, they stepped on their throats. Grade: A.