March 8, 2012
ATLANTA (AP) – Rion Brown sparked Miami from its offensive woes with back-to-back 3-pointers, and the Hurricanes ripped off an 18-0 run to defeat Georgia Tech 54-36 Thursday in the opening round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Georgia Tech ended its first season under coach Brian Gregory with its lowest-scoring game ever in the tournament and an 11-20 record.
The Yellow Jackets finished with their lowest-scoring game since a 38-36 loss to Auburn on Feb. 7, 1961. It was the third time this season Georgia Tech was held below 40 points at Philips Arena, its temporary home while the campus arena undergoes renovations.
Miami (19-11) shot just 33 percent. Shane Larkin was their top scorer with a mere 12 points, while Durand Scott added 11 and Brown had 10.
Both teams struggled through the opening half, combining to make 14-of-51 shots from the field and coughing up the ball 15 times. That played into the hands of Georgia Tech, which came in with the ACC’s second-worst offense at just 61 points a game. The Yellow Jackets went to the locker room with a 20-19 lead.
But the Hurricanes finally woke up, going ahead for good when Larkin led a fast break and passed off to Brown, who spotted up for a 3 that made it 29-27. The next time down, Larkin found Brown open again behind the arc for another trey. Another swish. The Hurricanes never let up from there.
Miami advanced to face its state rival, No. 17 Florida State, in Friday’s quarterfinals. The sixth-seeded Hurricanes are hoping to push their way into NCAA consideration with an impressive showing in Atlanta.