Hurricanes storm back to wash out Terps

January 15, 2009|By STEVE WINE

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Even as the Miami Hurricanes fell behind by 17 points in the second half, coach Frank Haith kept telling his players they were going to win.

He was right.

The Hurricanes sank seven 3-pointers in the final 10:30, including the game-winner by Jack McClinton with 24 seconds left to beat Maryland 62-60 on Wednesday night.

"We were never negative in the huddle," McClinton said. "Coach Haith kept it positive, telling us to believe we could win."

The second-half comeback was the biggest by the Hurricanes on record since 1991. They took the lead for the first time with 77 seconds remaining.


"What a game," Haith said. "It gives our guys an understanding we can do some great things. We can have a special team when we play up to our ability."

McClinton scored 18 points and Lance Hurdle 10 for the Hurricanes (13-3, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their sixth game in a row. The Terrapins (12-4, 1-1) lost in their first road game since Dec. 7.

Greivis Vasquez sank a pair of 3-pointers early in the second half to help the Terps take their largest lead at 52-35 with 12:30 to go. He missed a pair of 3-pointers in the final 5 seconds that would have given Maryland the victory.

"It was a tough game for us," Vasquez said. "We had the lead the whole game and couldn't close it."

Sophomore Adrian Bowie scored a career-high 23 points for the Terrapins, and Vasquez added 15. Maryland's pressing defense forced 10 turnovers in the first half to help build the big lead, but they forced only two in the second half.

"We lost our aggressiveness at the defensive end," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "We gave up way too many 3's. They made us pay."

It was a painful turnaround for the Terrapins, who overcame 10-point deficit to beat Georgia Tech last week.

The Hurricanes' lowest-scoring half of the season left them trailing 35-23 at halftime. The comeback began with nine consecutive points on 3-pointers by James Dews, Hurdle and McClinton to cut the margin to 54-49 with 5:30 left.

"We started to execute," Haith said. "We kept telling the kids every time we had a timeout, 'We're going to win this game.' We just had to believe."

Miami went 8-for-11 down the stretch, including six 3-pointers.

"We took our time on offense," McClinton said. "We slowed down and hit some big shots."

Three-pointers by Hurdle and McClinton cut the deficit to one point. Hurdle stole the ball from Eric Hayes and drove for a layup to give the Hurricanes their first lead, 59-58.

After Maryland's Hayes sank two free throws with 41 seconds to go, Haith called a play for McClinton.

"In the huddle Jack said, 'Run something for me. Give me the ball,"' Haith said. "I think he was feeling it at that point."

McClinton hit a 24-footer from the right wing for the game's final points.

"We knew who their 3-point shooters were, and we didn't get up on them," Bowie said.

A 3-point try by Vasquez rimmed out, but in a scramble the ball went out of bounds and Maryland kept possession with 2 seconds to go. Vasquez caught the inbounds pass and launched another 3-point attempt, but the ball bounded high off the bracket as the buzzer sounded.

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