ACC Basketball

Hurricanes Survive, while Panthers Could Care Less

jamie dixon

MIAMI HOLDS OF NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL

If there were two teams that would enjoy the experimental 30 second clock in the NIT, it would be these two. Miami came out firing on all cylinders, scoring on eight of their first 11 possessions and opened up a nine-point lead over the “other Durham” team. Behind some solid three-point shooting and an even better performance at free throw line, the Hurricanes stretch their lead to 14 with just over six minutes to play.

Yet, senior Jordan Parks wasn’t ready to end his career just yet. Scoring 23 of his 25 points in the second half, he alone rallied the Eagles. He simply couldn’t miss, hitting 11-fo-13 from the floor, scoring 13 of his team’s 16 points at one point. He eventually fouled out when he got called for a questionable foul that looked like a clean steal at mid-court.

The Eagles would get within one-point three times in the game’s final moments, but the Hurricanes were able to hold on for a 75-71 victory after after hitting all eight of their free throws down the stretch.

Fellow senior Nimrod Hilliard score 19 points, hitting all three of his threes for the Eagles. He was one of four NC Central players to play their final game in Coral Gables Tuesday night.

Manu Lecomte came off the bench to score 18, hitting 10-for-12 from the line. Sheldon McClellan added 15, while Deandre Burnett came off the bench to score 10 points. As a team Miami hit 50% of their shots, scoring 1.20 per possession, while nailing 23-25 from the FT line. The Hurricanes will face Alabama next. The Tide went on the road and dismantled Illinois, 79-58.

GEORGE WASHINGTON OVER PITTSBURGH

The fans didn’t care and failed to show up for this NIT first-round contest…the Panthers players also didn’t care and failed to show up. In what was by far the most lackluster performance I’ve seen Pittsburgh play this year, the Panthers turned it over 16 times, while forcing George Washington, one of the worst teams in terms of giving the ball up, to turnover it over just four times, falling at home 60-54 in front of an empty Petersen Events Center.

After falling behind 10-6 early, Pittsburgh would hold the Colonials to just one bucket over a six-minute period, while going on a 10-2 run to take a five-point lead, but that would be the highlight of the night. Reserved guard Keith Savage (17 points) came off the pine to spark a G.W. rally as they ended the half on a 16-6 run to open up a 28-23.

In the second half, George Washington stretched that lead to as much as nine and still led 44-36 with 12:27 to play, but they would end up just hitting two more shots the rest of the way. Yet, despite Jamie Dixon passionately begging his team to play with some heart, the Panthers simply had nothing to offer. They sent the Colonials to the free line 20 times in the final 12 minutes. George Washington only managed to hit 11 and Pittsburgh got back to within two (50-48) after a pair of threes by James Robinson and Jamel Artis, but the they only hit more basket the rest of the way, hitting 4-for-8 on the line.

Pittsburgh would end up winning the rebounding battle (41-35) and dished out seven more assists, but the turnovers, poor three-point shooting (2-for-11) and pathetically bad free throw shooting (8-for-18) were too much to overcome.

Senior Cameron Wright, in the final game of his career, led all Panthers in scoring with 11, while Jamel Artis finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. Pittsburgh’s 2014-15 season ends on a five-game losing streak, as they come up one win short of 20, the first time in Jamie Dixon’s career at the school.

George Washington advances to the NIT second round and will face the winner of the Temple/Bucknell game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>