Miami's Ebuka Izundu (15) blocks the shot by Pittsburgh's Rafael Maia (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Coral Gables, Fla., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
Joel Auerbach
February 09, 2016

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) Annoyed about his team's effort, Miami Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga grabbed a ball in the locker room at halftime and challenged his players one by one to wrestle it away from him.

The impromptu drill gave the Hurricanes some needed energy, which carried over to a decisive scramble. Point guard Angel Rodriguez scored on an offensive rebound with 1.4 seconds left, and No. 12 Miami edged Pittsburgh 65-63 on Tuesday night.

''That was a major league play for the smallest guy on the floor to go over everybody, time it right and just tip it in,'' Larranaga said.

The Hurricanes (19-4, 8-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed by eight points in the first half but won for the sixth time in the past seven games.

Pittsburgh (17-6, 6-5) has lost two straight for the first time this season.

''They got the break at the end,'' coach Jamie Dixon said. ''Just one of those things. Don't know what we could have done different.''

With the game tied, the Hurricanes missed two shots in the final 6 seconds and Pitt's Ryan Luther batted the ball before the 5-foot-11 Rodriguez charged into the lane and slapped a rebound into the basket with his left - non-shooting - hand.

''It took a bit to sink in - `Did I actually tip that in?''' Rodriguez said. ''It was just shocking. Once I told myself, `Yes you did - celebrate,' I started going crazy.''

That was the only offensive rebound of the game for Rodriguez, who had 17 points and eight assists.

''I don't know why in the world Angel went to the offensive boards,'' Larranaga said. ''Point guards are really not supposed to do that. But he didn't listen to me throughout the game anyway, so I'm glad he didn't listen at the end.''

Larranaga was joking, but he wasn't so happy about the Hurricanes' early play. The Panthers led for most of the first half, and their largest margin was 27-19.

So the 66-year-old Larranaga had his players wrestle him for the ball, which sent the needed message.

''He really wanted us to be passionate and play with energy,'' Rodriguez said. ''It ended up working. It got everybody going.''

Miami outscored Pitt 15-4 to start the second half, but the Panthers rallied twice and tied it on James Robinson's 3-pointer with 31 seconds left.

''I was proud of how we responded,'' Dixon said. ''We were in a very good position to win the game.''

Larranaga decided against using a timeout on the Hurricanes' final possession, and they ran the clock down to 6 seconds. Sheldon McClellan missed a 3-pointer and Davon Reed missed a follow before Rodriguez scored. He then raised his right fist in triumph as the crowd erupted.

''He redeemed the whole team,'' center Tonye Jekiri said. ''We don't want to lose at home. Just an amazing win.''

Robinson missed a shot from midcourt at the final buzzer.

The Panthers' Jamel Artis shot 2 for 10 and scored a season-low five points, 10.5 below his average. Luther had 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and Michael Young scored 12 points.

Jekiri played only 6 minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls but finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hurricanes, who shot 52 percent in the second half.

''We were so sharp in the second half that normally good things happen,'' Larranaga said. ''And they did.''

TIP-INS

Pitt: The Panthers fell to 0-4 against ranked teams. ... They are 17-0 when scoring at least 70 points and 0-6 in other games.

Miami: The Hurricanes' 12 consecutive weeks in the rankings ties the school record set in 2001-02.

SITTING OUT

Hurricanes reserve Ivan Cruz Uceda didn't dress because he was ill.

UP NEXT

Pittsburgh: is at No. 9 North Carolina on Sunday, the Panthers' third consecutive game against a ranked team.

Miami: is at Florida State on Sunday.

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)