Larkin leads No. 9 Miami past BC 69-58 at ACCs
Shane Larkin scored 20 points and No. 9 Miami pulled away to beat Boston College 69-58 on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Kenny Kadji added 15 points and Trey McKinney Jones finished with 12 for the top-seeded Hurricanes (25-6).
Miami withstood a serious scare from eighth-seeded BC (16-17), letting an early 13-point lead disappear before making all the plays down the stretch to avoid becoming the ACC's first No. 1 seed to lose its tournament opener since 1997.
Patrick Heckmann finished with 15 points for the Eagles, and his 3-pointer with 3½ minutes left tied it at 55.
Durand Scott put Miami in front to stay with two free throws with 3:01 left, and Larkin took over a few moments later.
Larkin came up with a key steal, then buried a momentum-shifting 3 off an inbounds pass to make it 60-55 with 1:49 left.
After Rion Brown swished a pretty hanging jumper with 57.6 seconds left, and Kadji added a free throw to make it 63-55, BC didn't get closer than five points the rest of the way. McKinney Jones punctuated the victory with a dunk with 17.2 seconds left.
Larkin also keyed the defensive effort on BC guard Olivier Hanlan, who a day earlier set an ACC tournament record for freshmen with 41 points in the first-round win over Georgia Tech.
Hanlan finished this one with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, missing 5 of his final 6 attempts after making 16 consecutive shots over two days. His streak ended when his 3-pointer over Larkin hit off the rim with just under 14 minutes left.
Ryan Anderson also had 14 points for the Eagles, who had their ACC-best four-game winning streak snapped and were denied their first semifinal appearance since 2007.
They lost twice to Miami during the regular season in vastly differing ways: The Hurricanes romped by 32 points in Coral Gables a few weeks after holding on for a one-point win at BC.
And for a while, this one looked like a repeat of that blowout — at least until BC dug itself out of a double-digit hole for the second straight day.
After rallying from 15 points down to beat the Yellow Jackets in the first round, the Eagles spotted Miami a 21-8 lead before closing the half on a 19-4 run and took its first lead when Anderson's layup with 4 seconds left made it 27-25. That coincided with a brutally cold spell for Miami, which missed 14 of its last 16 shots of the half.
BC stretched its lead to 30-25 on Heckmann's 3-pointer 20 seconds into the half. Miami eventually countered with an 11-2 run and took a 48-44 lead on Larkin's deep 3, and things remained tight until Larkin and the Hurricanes finally pulled away.