Miami makes NCAA return with 78-49 win vs Pacific - WFLA News Channel 8

Miami makes NCAA return with 78-49 win vs Pacific

Posted: Updated:
AUSTIN, TX (WFLA) -

Miami coach Jim Larranaga has so much confidence in Shane Larkin that he pretty much let his only non-senior starter run the show in the NCAA tournament.
    
With the sophomore point guard calling most of the offensive plays and making up for a tough shooting game by matching his career high with nine assists, the Hurricanes returned to the tourney with a 78-49 victory over Pacific in the East Regional on Friday.
    
"Since the very first day I saw Shane Larkin play, I thought he was great. And he's only gotten better at making decisions, at developing his skills and developing his role as a leader," said Larranaga, the second-year Miami coach. "Today, I may have called one or two offensive plays. I said to him, 'Run your team.'"
    
Durand Scott had 21 points with five 3-pointers for the Hurricanes (28-6), four of those long-range shots on assists by Larkin, who was only 2-of-8 shooting but scored 10 points.
    
Miami took control with a 14-0 run midway through the first half, a spurt that Larkin got started with two free throws, an alley-oop pass and a three-point play.
    
"My teammates did a great job of being in the right position, and that's the chemistry that we have," said Larkin, the ACC player of the year.
    
The No. 2 seed Hurricanes (28-6), who already have four more wins than ever before, played their first NCAA tournament game in five years. They finished with their most-lopsided victory of this season - and ever in the tourney.
    
Pacific (22-13), the California team that played its last game for retiring longtime coach Bob Thomason, was no match for the Atlantic Coast Conference's regular season and tournament champions.
    
"Great team, great pieces. They played tremendous," said Thomason, who was 437-321 in 25 seasons coaching his alma mater. "I'll be rooting for them the rest of the time, so maybe they can win a national championship. If I had to go out in coaching, you want to go out to a great team, but also to a great coach and a class coach, and Jim is that."
    
Thomason had said last year that this season would be his last. The Tigers gave Thomason a 20-point win over Big West Conference regular-season champion Long Beach State in his final home game, then won the league tournament for his fifth NCAA appearance.
    
Larranaga took mid-major George Mason to the Final Four in 2006. That makes him the only ACC coach not at Duke or North Carolina to take a program that far - and he might be able to do it again, with his own ACC team.
    
The Hurricanes will play Sunday against Colorado or Illinois with a chance to advance to the round of 16 for only the second time. Miami has never gone further in the tournament.
    
When the Hurricanes were already in complete control in the second half, there were consecutive possessions when Larkin made passes and was already holding up three fingers before Scott's 3-pointers had cleared the rim. The second with 11:47 left made it 59-29.
    
Scott was Miami's point guard before Larkin arrived and knows what it's like to be in that spot.
    
"I know all he wants to do to run the floor. And I know he's going to put the ball where it needs to be," Scott said. "He did a great job of finding me and I definitely would knock the shot down for him, because I'm pretty sure if I missed it, he would have been upset with me."
    
Reggie Johnson had seven points and 10 rebounds for Miami.
    
Travis Fulton had 18 points on six 3s for the Tigers, while Khalil Kelley had 11 points and nine rebounds.
    
Kelley's three-point play with 14:35 left in the first half got the Tigers within 8-7, but they went more than 7 minutes before scoring again.
    
Larkin started the Miami run with two free throws, then had an alley-oop pass to Tonye Jekiri before scoring on a driving layup off the glass while being fouled and making another free throw.
    
"I tried to go out there and make something happen. And luckily my teammates set the right screens for me to get to the basket, and they were in the right spot and spotted up for me to pass for them to shoot," Larkin said. "We just did a great job at that moment in time in creating a bigger lead."
    
Miami was up 22-7 before Kelley's dunk with 7:19 left finally ended the run.
    
The Hurricanes led by as much as 40-16 when Erik Swoope made two free throws with 6 seconds to go in the half. He was fouled while going up in the air in traffic trying to catch another alley-oop pass from Larkin.
    
Markus Duran swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer for Pacific, but the game was already well out of reach after the Tigers shot only 29 percent (7 of 24).
    
"Obviously, there's going to be nerves in a big game like this," Kelley said. "I feel like we had some open looks, but shots weren't falling. Obviously with their size, it's tough in there. We haven't played a team that big."

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • 15 year old sexually molested in Highlands Regional Medical Center ICU

    15 year old sexually molested in Highlands Regional Medical Center ICU

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:19 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:19:41 GMT
    People go to hospitals to be healed, not sexually molested. But an 8 On Your Side investigation confirmed a 15 year old Highlands county girl, who was heavily medicated and sedated at Highlands Regional Medical Center, was sexually molested in her ICU bed.
    People go to hospitals to be healed, not sexually molested. But an 8 On Your Side investigation confirmed a 15 year old Highlands county girl, who was heavily medicated and sedated at Highlands Regional Medical Center, was sexually molested in her ICU bed.
  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Lakeland woman says cats missing, found cut in half

    Lakeland woman says cats missing, found cut in half

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:00 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:00:17 GMT
    A Lakeland woman is trying to figure out what's happening to several cats that have gone missing in the neighborhood and two that have been discovered cut in half.
    A Lakeland woman is trying to figure out what's happening to several cats that have gone missing in the neighborhood and two that have been discovered cut in half.
  • Florida governor's race latest ad hurls campaign insults

    Florida governor's race latest ad hurls campaign insults

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:37 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:37:20 GMT
    The name-calling in the governor’s race is ratcheting up. Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign is out with a new ad that calls former Gov. Charlie Crist a “slick politician” and a “lousy governor.
    The name-calling in the governor’s race is ratcheting up. Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign is out with a new ad that calls former Gov. Charlie Crist a “slick politician” and a “lousy governor.
  • Ukraine moves against insurgents in the east

    Ukraine moves against insurgents in the east

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:35 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:35:12 GMT
    Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says police have cleared the city hall in a southeastern city of pro-Russian protesters who had been occupying it for over a week.
    Russia announced new military exercises Thursday involving ground and air forces near its border with Ukraine, swiftly responding to a Ukrainian operation to drive pro-Russia insurgents out of occupied buildings in the...
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Squatters left dogs at soldier's house in New Port Richey

    Squatters left dogs at soldier's house in New Port Richey

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:04 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:04:53 GMT
    One of the dogs left at the soldier's houseOne of the dogs left at the soldier's house
    The house of Army Spc. Michael Sharkey sat almost empty early Thursday morning after two squatters said they moved out the day before.
    The house of Army Spc. Michael Sharkey sat almost empty early Thursday morning after two squatters said they moved out the day before.
  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.