Miami does it again
Shane Larkin threw the ball off the backboard and Kenny Kadji slammed it home. From their front-row seats, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade stood up to join the sellout crowd in celebration.
It was show time in Miami Saturday, and North Carolina was powerless to stop it.
The eighth-ranked Hurricanes handed the Tar Heels their biggest loss of the season, 87-61 at the BankUnited Center.
The Tar Heels were 18-2 all-time against the Hurricanes entering this season, but have lost to them twice in the past month. Making matters even worse for UNC, Miami (19-3, 10-0 ACC) beat the Tar Heels (16-7, 6-4) at their own game.
“They did to us what we wanted to do to them,” UNC junior Reggie Bullock said. “Spread the floor, get in the lane, kick out to shooters — that’s Carolina basketball, and they were just doing those things to us and we were so stagnant on offense.”
Miami shot 15 of 26 from long range, including 10 of 16 in the first half, as they built a 17-point halftime lead.
It was the most 3-pointers UNC had allowed since the first round of the 2010 NIT, when William & Mary made 16. The Hurricanes, who shot 54.4 percent overall, were also the first Tar Heel opponent this season to make more than half their shots.
On the other hand, UNC shot 38.5 percent from the field and 30 percent (6 of 20) from behind the arc.
But shooting was hardly the Tar Heels’ only problem. The team was outrebounded 38-29 and had more turnovers (11) than assists (10).
“That’s how you get your tail whipped,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “We’ve got to play a heck of a lot better.”
Bullock led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds, but the other four starters only had 12 points on 6 of 26 shooting. Leading scorer and rebounder James Michael McAdoo was held to six points and three rebounds, while point guard Marcus Paige was 1 of 9 from the field.
“I didn’t play the way I wanted to play, the way I feel like I could have played,” said McAdoo, who shot 3 of 12. “I hurt the team, obviously.”
On the other side, the Hurricanes seemingly couldn’t miss. Durand Scott, a 31 percent shooter from behind the arc, made all three of his 3s while Larkin, a Bob Cousy Award finalist, was 5 of 8 from long range en route to a game-high 18 points.
“A couple guys on the team shot the ball well that we weren’t expecting, but that’s a credit to them,” McAdoo said. “We have to be able to make adjustments and we didn’t do that.”
Miami and UNC combined to make 3s on five straight possessions at one point, with P.J. Hairston (11 points) hitting twice for the Tar Heels. But UNC couldn’t keep up from outside and wasn’t aggressive enough to make up for it at the line — the Tar Heels went more than 33 minutes without shooting a free throw and finished with a season-low six attempts from the stripe.
Miami got out on front early, scoring nine straight points a 3 and three lay-ups.
UNC went to zone at one point, but that didn’t work either — in three possessions, Miami got an offensive rebound and two 3s to take a 22-9 lead.
The Hurricanes extended the lead to 44-27 at halftime, and started the second half on a 15-4 run to end any hopes of a UNC comeback. Kadji’s dunk off the backboard pass put the Hurricanes up 70-46, and James and Wade didn’t need to stick around after that to see how the game would end.
NOTES — Miami beat Duke here by 27 last month. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Hurricanes are the first team in ACC history to beat both UNC and Duke by 25 or more points in the same season. … Miami senior center Julian Gamble, a Southern High School graduate, had eight points, six rebounds had four blocks in 18 minutes. He also received a technical foul for hanging on the rim after a dunk.
No. 8 MIAMI 87, NORTH CAROLINA 61
|James Michael McAdoo||26||3-12||0-0||0-3||0||2||6|
Percentages: FG .385, FT .833. 3-Point Goals: 6-20, .300 (Hairston 3-8, McDonald 2-4, Bullock 1-3, Paige 0-5). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 3 (Hubert, McAdoo, Hairston). Turnovers: 11 (McAdoo 3, Hairston 2, James 2, McDonald, Bullock). Steals: 3 (Paige 2, Johnson). Technical Fouls: None.
|Trey McKinney Jones||26||2-4||0-0||0-2||1||1||6|
Percentages: FG .544, FT .833. 3-Point Goals: 15-26, .577 (Larkin 5-8, Scott 3-3, Kadji 3-5, McKinney Jones 2-3, Brown 2-5, Johnson 0-2). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 6 (Gamble 4, Kadji, Johnson). Turnovers: 13 (Larkin 4, Kadji 3, Johnson 2, Scott 2, Jekiri, Sorenson). Steals: 3 (Scott 3). Technical Fouls: Gamble.
A—7,972. Officials—Jamie Luckie, Tim Nestor, Gary Maxwell.