No. 15 Miami defended its home court Monday night, beating No. 24 Duke, 80-69 at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables. Miami (16-3, 5-2) has now won 11 of its last 13 games, including three straight.
“We played together as a team tonight,” Hurricanes guard Sheldon McClellan said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “We played with a lot of energy. That took us a long way, I think.”
McClellan finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, as Miami shot 50.8 percent from the floor.
“I just picked my spots on the floor,” McClellan said. “I let the game come to me. I never force anything. I might have one bad shot every now and then, but I really let the game come to me, see how the defense playing me. That’s why I barely scored in the first half. I kind of feel the game out, figure out how the team is playing me and then I attack in the second half.”
Ja’Quan Newton had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists off the bench for Miami, while Davon Reed had 14 points and four rebounds, and Angel Rodriguez had 13 points and 11 dimes.
“With Angel, we always talk,” McClellan said. “Every time, whether it’s him missing shots or me missing shots, it’s all about confidence. You’re going to miss some, you’re going to make some. You just got to keep shooting and he was aggressive tonight. I didn’t know he had 11 assists, but he’s a point guard. I’m not surprised he had 11 assists. That’s one of the reasons I came here – because I wanted to play with him.”
Duke (15-6, 4-4), which has lost four of five, shot just 41.7 percent from the floor, including 6-of-20 (30.0 percent) from three-point range. The Blue Devils’ previous four losses were by a combined 13 points.
Miami led by just four at halftime but wound up winning by double digits.
“With this team, we got (the ability to go on spurts),” McClellan said. “It all starts with defense. We get stops, we get out in transition, we got athletes on the team. We feed off that type of energy. It takes the game a long way for us.”
Miami plays at NC State (11-9, 1-6) this Saturday at 3 p.m. ET and hosts Notre Dame (14-5, 5-2) on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. ET.