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Miami downs BC, earns lucky cover

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - 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.

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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 3 1/2 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.

---

Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at (at)JoedyAP.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
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