Miami Hurricanes Basketball: Davon Reed Leads Miami Past Virginia in Thrilling 64-61 Victory

Feb 22, 2016; Coral Gables, FL, USA; University of Miami Hurricane guard Davon Reed (5) celebrates his teams victory over the Virginia Cavaliers by a score of 64-61at BankUnited Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2016; Coral Gables, FL, USA; University of Miami Hurricane guard Davon Reed (5) celebrates his teams victory over the Virginia Cavaliers by a score of 64-61at BankUnited Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports /

“Everybody gets knocked down, but it’s how you get back up and respond that really matters.”

On Monday night against the No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers, the Miami Hurricanes couldn’t have responded in any better of a way.

Heeding the advice of their great coach and leader Jim Larranaga, the Miami Hurricanes were boosted by 21 points from Davon Reed and grabbed a crucial 64-61 victory just two days after suffering their worst loss of the season at North Carolina.

“Saturday was a tough game for us,” Reed said after the game. “I told the guys that we needed to come out and be the aggressors and it just happened to be the night for me. Shots were falling, my teammates were giving me the ball and all the credit goes to them.”

Despite Reed’s humble comments after the game, there is no doubting that the junior small forward delivered his best performance as a player at Miami, in perhaps his biggest game as a Cane. His 21 points were a career-high and despite Malcom Brogdon putting up 28 points, Reed’s ability to knock down the big shots whenever Miami needed it was the difference.

“As good as Malcom Brogdon was, Davon Reed was sensational as well,” Coach Larranaga said after the game. “Davon is such a terrific competitor, he’s such a great leader and he’s mentally tough. He’s very intelligent, very skilled and he used a lot of those skills tonight.”

From early on you could tell it was going to be the Ewing, NJ native’s night as he stroked two three-pointers in the first three minutes of the game. With Reed coming out aggressive, his teammates followed and the team put together their best defensive half of the season.

Coming into the game, the Hurricanes had to solve their rebounding problems to help the defense out and avoid giving up as many second chance opportunities as they did to North Carolina. The answer to that was Kamari Murphy. The Oklahoma State transfer wasn’t putting up big points, but in the first half alone he grabbed nine rebounds which was just one short of tying his season-high.

Despite playing at a pace that clearly favored Virginia, Miami took a 30-25 lead to the half and once again got a big momentum boost as Sheldon McClellan raced down the court and made his now-patented running three-pointer to end the half.

In the last matchup between the two, the Hurricanes put together a solid first half, but then crumbled down the stretch in the second half. Tonight in a game where Miami needed to show what they were made of, they weren’t going to let that happen again.

The teams went back and forth trading buckets in a game that felt like a heavyweight fight, but the Hurricanes just couldn’t pull away. Miami led by ten after another three from Reed with 17:22 left and then once again the junior hit a triple late to put the Canes up eight with 3:15 left. Even with Reed on fire, the tough-minded Cavaliers wouldn’t go away.

Behind Malcom Brogdon, who didn’t miss a shot in the first 19 minutes of the second half, Virginia went on a 7-0 run to cut the Miami lead to 60-59. On the next possession, Tonye Jekiri made perhaps the biggest defensive play of the game as he contested a Mike Tobey layup and then grabbed the rebound on the miss. Despite struggling from the free throw line for the entire game, the big man hit one of two and gave Miami a 61-59 lead.

On the other end, Brogdon finally missed a shot as his three fell short and the rebound fell to Ja’Quan Newton who remarkably played 17 minutes just two days removed from having to be helped off the court in Chapel Hill. The sophomore like Jekiri only made one of two free throws, but it gave Miami a little bit of breathing room with 20 seconds left.

London Perrantes made a layup on the other end and then in a fitting end, Reed was fouled on the in-bounds and hit two clutch free throws at the line. Perrantes launched a three-pointer from just in front of mid-court with a second remaining, but the shot clanked off the backboard and the 7,016 in attendance at the BankUnited Center roared as the Canes improved to 22-5 overall and 11-4 in the ACC.

“It was definitely an impressive win for us. Any time you win in the ACC, no matter who it’s against, it’s always a great win,” Sheldon McClellan said after the victory. “The way we lost to Carolina, we felt kind of embarrassed, and we wanted to come back and respond the way we did tonight, whether we on by a lot or won by a little. And that’s what we did.”

It was a huge win that not only will be the signature win on Miami’s resume, but also puts them back in a pretty solid position for the ACC Regular Season title. With just three games to play, the Hurricanes have every shot to grab that trophy as they sit just a half-game back of North Carolina.

The Miami Hurricanes were certainly knocked to the floor in their 96-71 defeat at North Carolina, but as Coach Larranaga said, “How you get back up and respond is what matters.” When Miami needed to respond in their biggest game of the season against Virginia, they did just that.