CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Hurricanes won at home Wednesday to nudge their Atlantic Coast Conference record above .500, and given the league’s depth, that’s not an achievement they’re taking lightly.
Davon Reed had 18 points and six assists and Miami pulled away in the second half to beat the Virginia Tech Hokies 74-68.
“It’s always a grudge match when we play them,” Reed said. “Any win in the ACC, home or away, with a chance to advance in the league is big time.”
Hokies coach Buzz Williams agreed the result was significant, given the conference’s caliber this year.
“I think it will go down in the annals of college basketball history as the best league in a single season,” Williams said.
Miami (16-7, 6-5 ACC) won for the fourth time in the past five games. Virginia Tech (16-7, 5-6) lost for the fifth time in six league road games.
The Hurricanes never trailed after halftime and went on an 18-2 run midway through second half to take a 65-49 lead. The Hokies went six minutes without a field goal.
“That was the difference, all due to getting stops,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said.
Reed went 4 for 8 from 3-point range and made all six of his free throws. Ja’Quan Newton added 16 points and Anthony Lawrence had 12.
Justin Robinson led Virginia Tech with 15 points but was called for a technical foul with 28 seconds left, and Reed made both free throws for a 71-63 lead to seal the win.
Virginia Tech lost despite outscoring Miami 18-7 in the final 4:22. The Hokies struggled against Miami’s zone and were outscored by 17 points from the field.
“We were able to contain their penetration for the most part,” Reed said.
The Hokies shot 4 for 13 from 3-point range, and are 7 for 33 beyond the arc (21 percent) in the past two games.
There were 11 lead changes in the first half, and Miami outscored Tech 9-0 in the final 1:06 to lead 40-34 at halftime.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies have been outscored by 26, 15, 19, 23 and six points in their league road defeats.
Miami: The Hurricanes won for the seventh time in the past eight meetings between the two teams. They play again Feb. 27.
Hurricanes forward Kamari Murphy and reserve center Ebuka Izundu combined to score 18 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Izundu was plus-16 in 19 minutes to lead Miami.
LOSING THE BALL
The Hokies had 15 turnovers, including six during Miami’s decisive second-half run.
“We played much harder than we have over the last two weeks,” Williams said. “We were much more connected. We just made too many mistakes.”
The Hurricanes won even though their third-leading scorer, Bruce Brown, missed his first 10 shots and finished with two points. The rest of the team shot 54 percent.
“Bruce hasn’t appeared to be himself the past two games,” Larranaga said. “The energy — he has been kind of subdued.”
Virginia Tech: The Hokes play host to No. 12 Virginia on Sunday. The game is a rematch after the Hokies lost at Virginia 71-48 last week.
“It’s important to the people in the state of Virginia,” Williams said. “Hopefully we’ll do better than we did last Wednesday.”
Miami: The Hurricanes play Saturday at No. 4 Louisville. Four of the Hurricanes’ final eight regular-season games will be against ranked teams.
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