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January 30, 2013

Hoops wins at Va. Tech, remains unbeaten in ACC

The No. 14 Hurricane basketball continued its winning ways at Virginia Tech on Wednesday night, defeating the Hokies, 73-64.

The Canes started the game slowly, falling behind 28-16 before a strong final three minutes of the first half had the team trailing by three at halftime, 32-29. Shane Larkin led the team back with nine straight points.

UM quickly opened a 38-34 advantage in the second half that the team wouldn't relinquish. With eight minutes to go the Cane lead was nine, and UM was up by nine with 2:51 left, 60-51.

It was a game 37 seconds later, though, with the Hokies cutting the lead to 60-56 thanks to five straight converted free throws (three from Eddie Jarell when he was fouled shooting a three-pointer).

Larkin hit a long three with 1:46 to go, making it 63-56, and with 1:32 remaining Reggie Johnson went to the free throw line to put the Canes up nine. Virginia Tech never got back into the game the rest of the way.

"Tonight we didn't have that emotional lift from the crowd, but we did have good steady effort that increased throughout the game," coach Jim Larranaga said. "I was really proud of us. I told the team that this was a gut-check, and we responded. We took a major blow in the first half and we came back at them."

Leading UM was Larkin with 25 points (five of 10 threes).

"It was an up-tempo game, (Virginia Tech) is an up-tempo team," Larkin said. "I believe our team is very versatile ... and I believe tonight was a great night for that."

Kenny Kadji said of Larkin's play that "I think Shane did a good job of keeping us in the game. We knew Virginia Tech would have a chance to win the game. We wanted to stay as close as we could, then come out in the second half and play harder."

Kadji had 18 points while Trey McKinney Jones added 12.

The nation's leading scorer - the Hokies' Erick Green - had 30 points.

"You can't stop the leading scorer in the nation, you just want to make it tough on him and try and limit the other guys, too," Kadji said.

Miami hit on 48.1 percent of its shots to Virginia Tech's 45.3 percent.

The Canes also held the rebounding advantage, 33-29.

Next up for Miami: No. 19 NC State on Saturday.

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