Thomas scores 20, Miami beats Virginia 70-68 in OT
By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Sports Writer
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Rion Brown made three free throws to tie the game with 13.7 seconds left in regulation, Adrian Thomas finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds and Miami beat Virginia 70-68 on Saturday.
Thomas made a career-best six 3-pointers for the Hurricanes (14-9, 3-6 Atlantic Coast Conference). Reggie Johnson scored 16 and Malcolm Grant added 11 for Miami.
Mustapha Farrakhan scored 20 for Virginia (12-11, 3-6). Joe Harris scored 18 for Virginia, but missed two free throws with his team down 68-66 with 5.8 seconds left.
The Cavaliers fouled Miami on 3-point tries twice in the final minute of regulation, proving costly. Virginia also was 9 of 22 from the line.
"They were 17 of 22. We were 9 of 22," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "There's the difference."
Virginia's defense had frustrated Miami for the first 39 minutes. In the last minute of regulation, the Cavaliers only frustrated themselves.
Leading by five with 38.9 seconds left, Virginia's ungluing began when Grant was fouled on a 3-point attempt by Farrakhan. Grant made the last two of the ensuing three attempts, and the Hurricanes were within 53-50.
After Farrakhan made two free throws -- no small feat for Virginia, considering it had been 3 of 11 at the line in the game's first 39 minutes -- Brown hit a deep 3 to get Miami within 55-53 with 28.7 seconds remaining. And with Miami down three, Zeglinski ran into Brown as he tried a 3-pointer 15 seconds later.
Brown made the first two, after which Virginia coach Tony Bennett called time-out in an effort to ice the freshman. But Brown rattled in the third, and Miami got the stop it needed to force overtime.
It was setting up as another end-of-game heartbreaker for Miami, which went 0-4 in a four-game stretch late last month, those losses all by 11 points and each essentially decided in the final possession.
This time, though, the Hurricanes survived -- despite shooting 39 percent for the day and surviving a horrid start.
Virginia's offense was again anemic in the first half, scoring only 23 points -- the sixth time in the last eight halves in which the Cavaliers failed to crack the 30-point mark.
Nonetheless, they were good enough to take a three-point lead at the break.
Miami started 0 for 8 and 1 for 14 from the floor, trailing 10-2 after nearly 9 minutes. The Hurricanes slowly clawed out of what became a nine-point deficit and pulled into a 20-20 tie late in the period, before Jontel Evans beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer for the Cavaliers.
Johnson had a three-point play with 13:32 left to give Miami its first lead, 35-32. But the Hurricanes went cold again, managing only two points in the next 6 minutes -- and when Harris hit his fourth 3-pointer of the day with 3:37 left, Virginia turned a mostly empty building silent by taking a 51-44 lead.
Miami rallied, and in the end, it became Virginia's 13th straight loss in the state of Florida since February 2001.
Updated February 5, 2011