January 22, 2016

After rebounding from back-to-back ACC road defeats, Miami confidently returns with a good chance to extend Wake Forest's conference misery away from home.

The No. 15 Hurricanes will try to hand the Demon Deacons an 18th straight league road defeat Saturday.

Coach Jim Larranaga admitted his concern after Miami (14-3, 3-2) allowed No. 13 Virginia to shoot 51.1 percent in an eight-point loss Jan. 12, then succumbed to a 25-8 run over the final seven minutes of last Saturday's 76-65 defeat at Clemson. The Hurricanes shot 40 percent and led by one at the break Wednesday at Boston College, but made 48 percent of their attempts in the final 20 minutes and held an overall 42-26 scoring advantage in the paint to win 67-53.

''I think we did a better job of being poised down the stretch," said leading scorer Sheldon McClellan, who had 19 points. "Like Coach always talks about, we just did a better job of coming together and staying together.''

Point guard Angel Rodriguez scored 12 after being held to fewer than 10 in three of the previous four games. Tonye Jekiri added six points and matched a career high with 17 boards.

Averaging a team-high 9.9 rebounds for the second straight season, Jekiri has 28 in two games.

Virginia and Clemson shot a combined 49.5 percent against the Hurricanes, and the Eagles went 13 of 25 in the first half but shot 25.8 percent and were 1 of 10 from 3-point range in the second.

Miami's allowed an average of 58.7 points, 36.4 percent shooting and 22.1 from the beyond the arc over a six-game home winning streak.

That might not bode well for Wake Forest (10-8, 1-5), which has shot 37.3 percent, gone 4 of 38 from 3 and turned the ball over 37 times in the last two games.

Though Wake beat Ben Simmons and LSU in Baton Rouge last month, hung in at then-No. 18 Louisville before losing by eight Jan. 3 and shot a season-high 58.9 percent in a wild 93-91 loss at Virginia Tech 10 days later, it's dropped 47 of 49 on the road in the ACC. Two years ago this week the Demon Deacons won at Virginia Tech, but their 17 straight league road defeats that followed are two shy of a school record that spanned 1984-85 to 1986-87.

Konstantinos Mitoglou hit six 3-pointers and finished with 21 points in Wake's 72-70 home win over the Hurricanes in last season's only meeting. However, it's dropped four straight at Miami, including the last two by a combined 31 points.

The 6-foot-10 Mitoglou (11.2 points per game) missed all five 3-point attempts and totaled nine points in the last two games. Devin Thomas (16.4 ppg) is second in the ACC with 10.4 boards per game but has 16 in three against Miami.

Freshman guard Bryant Crawford scored a team-high 18 as Wake dropped its third in a row, 83-68 at second-ranked North Carolina on Wednesday. He's averaging 15.3 points on the road, though he's shooting just 32.3 percent in conference play.

"He's been playing great," coach Danny Manning said. "He's a true freshman; we've been throwing him into the fire since day one. He's a competitor; he's fearless."

The Demon Deacons are 0-5 against ranked opponents since beating then-No. 13 Indiana at the Maui Invitational on Nov. 23.

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)