The Miami Hurricanes dealt the Duke Blue Devils a historic loss Tuesday, winning 90-74 in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
No. 4 Duke (14-2) hadn’t lost at home since March 2012, hadn’t lost consecutive regular-season games since February 2009 and hadn’t lost consecutive games by double digits since March 1996.
“It was a great win for us,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Duke obviously has had a tremendous season so far. Conference play is just so different than non-conference play. Our teams and styles actually match up very well. We’re very guard-oriented, (and) they’re a pressure team. Angel Rodriguez and Manu Lecomte did just a great job of executing tonight.”
Indeed, Rodriguez and Lecomte were the game’s high scorers, finishing with 24 points and 23 points, respectively. They combined to shoot 7-of-10 from three-point range, 14-of-17 from the foul line and had seven assists and six steals.
Miami (12-4) shot 67 percent from the floor after halftime, snapping Duke’s 41-game home winning streak.
“Since we’ve come back for the Christmas break, we’ve been much better,” Larranaga said. “We had a bad two-week period (in) December, but when we came back, we’ve been much (more) focused. We had a nice non-conference win. Then we lost in double overtime to Virginia, but (we) had our chance to beat the second-ranked team in the country. We won on Saturday and won tonight. Hopefully our focus will remain very, very good now.”
Miami’s guard-heavy focus has worked wonders this season, mainly because Tonye Jekiri has been an anchor in the post. the 7-footer had 10 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and one block against Duke.
“Tonye has really been a workhorse,” Larranaga said. “We don’t have any other big guys. He’s the only guy we have over 6-8, and he played 39 minutes tonight. He’s been playing over 30 minutes every game. He stayed out of foul trouble. He’s the leading rebounder in the ACC. He does a great job of screening and getting our guys open.”
Like Rodriguez, Lecomte and Sheldon McClellan, who had 14 points against Duke.
“That’s the beauty of when you have good guards; you don’t have to do a whole lot of coaching,” Larranaga said, laughing. “You just let them run the team. It’s like having a great quarterback and giving him the ball and he runs the option. He can kick it out or pass it or run himself. These guys know – they’re triple-threats. They can go behind a ball screen and shoot a three. They can drive to the basket and finish. They can drive and kick it out for three. Or what they did so well tonight was drive and draw fouls, get to the foul line and cash in there.”
Miami next plays at No. 12 Notre Dame (15-2) this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.
“The first thing is tonight we want to enjoy the win over Duke,” Larranaga said. “When we get back to campus, we’ll start preparing for Notre Dame. But in the ACC, every game is a a challenge because every opponent presents different circumstances. We have to have an entirely different game plan and hope that our players can make the adjustment and execute that one.”