Miami and Notre Dame played a full 40 minutes Wednesday, but the game was over long before that. The No. 7 Hurricanes led 12-0 and 21-3 – stunning the crowd in South Bend – before ultimately winning 68-50.
“We just wanted to come in and stay locked in,” Hurricanes guard Sheldon McClellan said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “We wanted to come out defensively and set the tone. We made a lot of shots the first half, and we really set the tone defensively. I think that’s what got us out to the early lead.”
Four Hurricanes finished in double figures, including Angel Rodriguez, who scored a game-high 19, and McClellan, who scored 17. Rodriguez also had five assists, four rebounds and drilled three three-pointers.
“When Angel rolls, this team rolls,” McClellan said. “When he’s playing like that, it’s hard to beat us. I think no one can beat us when he plays like that. He’s the leader on the team. We feed off his energy defensively and offensively. When he plays like that, it’s a different ball game for other teams.”
Senior 7-footer Tonye Jekiri had 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocks for Miami, while Davon Reed had 10 points, six rebounds and two assists.
Notre Dame shot just 17-of-50 (34.0 percent) from the floor, including 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) from three.
“I’m not surprised (we won by so many),” McClellan said. “When we lock in like we did defensively, our offense will take care of itself. But I’m not surprised we won by that much. I knew our guys were locked in before the game. That’s all we talked about the whole week. We just came out and played a great game.”
Miami (24-5, 13-4), which has won eight of nine, closes the regular season at Virginia Tech (17-13, 9-8) this Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. The Hokies have won four straight after dropping seven of eight.
“We know they’re going to come out hungry at home,” McClellan said. “We got to come out like we did tonight and we’ll be fine.”