Miami Hurricanes Basketball: Miami Hurricanes Destroy Duke Blue Devils Behind Second Half Surge, 90-74


February 15th, 2009.

That was the last time the Duke Blue Devils lost consecutive games; After a 90-74 dominating win by the Miami Hurricanes, that’s no longer the case.

Coming into this game, the Miami Hurricanes were a 15-point underdog and Jahlil Okafor was the leading scorer in the ACC and possibly the most dominant player in college basketball. Okafor still had a solid game (because he’s a monster) but it wasn’t enough to beat a Miami team that was focused, especially coming out of the halftime break.

The Florida Gators had a 33-game home winning streak when Miami came to town and that was taken away after a 24-point effort by Angel Rodriguez. Heading into Tuesday’s game, Duke had a 41-game home winning streak and that was put to rest by this Miami Hurricanes team. So in other words, if you have a long winning streak, don’t schedule Miami.

The first half featured 8 ties, 5 lead changes, and 20 fouls combined by both teams. The Hurricanes were in the bonus with 12 minutes left in the first half and that resulted in 14 free-throw attempts — they hit 8 of them. The Blue Devils also struggled from the free-throw line, converting on just 6 of their 11 attempts from the line.

Angel Rodriguez, who eagerly awaited to play in this game, had a quiet start for Miami, but an 8-point surge in just 39 seconds helped him get 9 first-half points. Oh, And he also did this to Tyus Jones’ ankles.

Miami had the lead for most of the first half, but a 3:24 scoring drought gave the Blue Devils a 35-34 lead heading into the break. The Canes shot 37% in the first half, while Duke shot 45% in the first half.

In the second half, you almost expected a Duke run to start it off, but instead, it was Miami that rallied off a run. Trailing 39-36 early in the second half, the Hurricanes went on an 9-0 run that gave Miami a 45-39 lead.

Justise Winslow appeared to have injured his shoulder during the Hurricanes run, but he returned to the game with 13:06 left in the second half.

Even with Winslow, the ‘Canes were stylin’ and profilin’ in Cameron Indoor and after a top-10 nominee alley-oop from Ja’Quan Newton to Sheldon McClellan and a Manu Lecomte pull up three in transition, the Hurricanes were in control with a 57-46 lead against the #4 Duke Blue Devils. A Jahlil Okafor dunk in the ensuing Duke possession ended a 20-minute scoreless drought for the future number one overall pick.

Even with the big lead, you still expected a big Duke run to follow, but that never came — even on their home-court. Miami dominated the Blue Devils in the second half and Angel Rodriguez continued to be a killer in big games; he even throat slashed the crazies after a big three late in the second half.

The Canes continued to pour it on the Blue Devils and took a 20-point lead after a thunderous dunk by Sheldon McClellan with a minute left to go.

Miami shot 67% from the field in the second half and nailed 6 three-pointers in the second stanza of the game. Manu Lecomte — who is coming off the bench for the second straight game — had a career-high 23 points and kept hitting big shot after big shot. The sophomore out of Belgium also got to the line (and hit his free throws) all night, going 10-for-11 from the line.

Miami outscored Duke 56-39 in the second half. That’s a lot of points for the Canes offense.

Angel Rodriguez continued to prove his big game mantra and he knocked down 24 points for the Hurricanes. Okafor had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Blue Devils.

The Hurricanes bench was a key to the game and they showed up big. The Canes bench outscored Duke’s bench, 33-16. It helps when a guy drops 23 off the bench, but Ja’Quan Newton and Davon Reed also provided Miami with some great minutes off the pine.

The Miami Hurricanes pulled off a MAJOR upset tonight and now have some reinforcement on the way. Ivan Cruz Uceda’s 16-game suspension ended on Tuesday and he’ll be able to play when the Canes play Notre Dame on Saturday in South Bend.