Miami guard Sheldon McClellan (10) evades the defensive pressure of Boston College center Dennis Clifford (24) as McClellan dishes off the ball while going up for a shot under the hoop during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, J
Stephan Savoia
January 21, 2016

BOSTON (AP) On the last leg of a three-game road trip, Miami finally figured out how to close.

Sheldon McClellan scored 19 points, Ja'Quan Newton had 12 and the No. 15 Hurricanes rebounded from consecutive losses by pulling away for a 67-53 win over Boston College on Wednesday night.

''Road games are tough in this league,'' Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. ''We put ourselves in position to win at Virginia and at Clemson, and we didn't finish well. At least tonight we finished the game much better.''

It was the 11th straight victory for the Hurricanes (14-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) against Boston College. Tonye Jekiri matched his career high with 17 rebounds, and Angel Rodriguez scored 12 points.

Miami closed the game by holding Boston College without a basket for the final 7 minutes.

''Against Clemson, we just collapsed in the last 5 minutes - offensively and defensively,'' McClellan said. ''This game I think we did a better job of being poised down the stretch. Like Coach always talks about, we just did a better job of coming together and staying together.''

Jerome Robinson led the Eagles (7-11, 0-5) with 20 points, and leading scorer Eli Carter had 12 on 4-for-18 shooting.

It was the fifth straight loss for BC. The previous four - all in conference games - were by an average of 22.5 points.

''I thought we cleared a lot of hurdles today, but at the end I thought we kind of blew ourselves up a little bit,'' Boston College coach Jim Christian said. ''We missed some layups, free throws at the line. Obviously to beat a ranked team, at that point and time every shot needs to be a great shot and not a shot you think you can make.''

Closing a stretch of three road games in nine days, Miami rode a solid start in the second half by Rodriguez, who scored nine points to help the Hurricanes open a 45-35 lead with 14:15 to play.

BC sliced it to 45-41 on Darryl Hicks' 3-pointer from the right corner with just more than 14 minutes to play.

Miami, which seemed to be relaxing on the defensive end of the floor on many possessions early in the second half, pushed its lead to 56-49 on Newton's baseline jumper with 5:45 to go.

The Eagles never trimmed their deficit below five points the rest of the way.

In the first half, the Hurricanes pounded the ball inside early and took advantage of nine BC turnovers in the opening 11 minutes to build a six-point edge before the Eagles answered with a 10-1 spree.

Miami closed the half by scoring eight of the final 12 points to grab a 29-28 advantage at halftime.

Neither team was crisp offensively in the opening 20 minutes, at times turning the ball over on consecutive possessions.


Miami: Larranaga improved to 9-0 against BC since taking over the Hurricanes.

Boston College: Carter entered third in the conference in scoring at 17.6 points per game. He had 31 in a loss at then-No. 20 Pittsburgh on Saturday.


BC honored wounded veteran Cedric King at halftime, playing a video tribute from First Lady Michelle Obama. King then walked out to center court to a long standing ovation. It was part of Military Appreciation Night.


Miami entered first in the conference in defensive rebounding and BC was last on the offensive glass, but the Eagles were only outrebounded 43-37 and had seven on the offensive end. Miami grabbed 10.


Larranaga was pleased by the final score despite his team struggling for stretches.

''This is probably the largest margin of victory we've had since I've been in the ACC, so we're happy to end up with a 14-point win,'' he said.


Miami hosts Wake Forest on Saturday.

Boston College plays at Notre Dame on Saturday.

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